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WILLIAM SMITH 

JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE PROVINCE OF NEW YORK 



WILLIAM SMITH-THE HISTORIAN 

CHIEF JUSTICE OF NEW YORK AND OF CANADA 



BY MATURIN L. DELAFIELD 



Reprinted from "The Magazine of American History," of April and June, 1881 




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WILLIAM SMITH 



JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE PROVI^JCE OF NEW YORK 



WILLIAM SMITH-THE HISTORIAN 



CHIEF JUSTICE OF NEW YORK AND OF CANADA 



BY MATURIN L. DELAFIELD 



Reprinted from "The Magazine of American History," of April and June, 1881 



6^ 



WILLIAM SMITH 



JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE PROVINCE OF NEW YORK 



WILLIAM SMITH 

JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE PROVINCE OF NEW YORK 

William Smith, ancestor of the New York colonial family of Smithy 
made illustrious in the persons of Judge and Chief Justice Smith, served 
in the army of the Commonwealth. At the close of the great civil war 
he removed from his birth-place and residence in the Isle of Ely, Cam- 
bridgeshire, England, and settled at Newport Pagnell, Buckingham- 
shire, where he died about 1682. His wife, Elizabeth (Hartley), whom 
he married 4th September, 1661, lived until 1710, and was buried in the 
same grave with her husband in the aisle, on the south side of the font, 
of the parish church, Newport Pagnell. 

James Hartley, the father of Elizabeth, was a younger son of William 
Hartley of Strangwicke Hall, the chief of one of the most ancient fam- 
ilies of Lancashire. He (James Hartley) died 27th June, 1666, aged 63, 
at the same time with his wife, both victims of the plague which visited 
Newport Pagnell that summer. They were buried together in the 
parish church, and in the same aisle in which their daughter and son-in- 
law were afterwards laid to rest. Beneath the surrounding stones lie 
the bodies of many of the Hartley family. Among the memorial tab- 
lets was one " To the memory of James Hartley, who departed this life 
27 June, 1666. Aged 63. 

No epitaph can make 
The just man famed 
The good are praised 
When they are only named." 

At the west end of the Hartley aisle, chained to a desk, were three vol- 
umes, the Lives of the Martyrs, with a Latin inscription, signifying that 
these books were the gift of William Hartley in 161 2. 

William and Elizabeth Smith had issue five sons and one daughter: 
William, James, John, Samuel, Thomas, the father of the subject of 
the present sketch, and Christiana, who died young (see notes to this 
article, I to V). 

Judge William Smith, the subject of the present sketch, was the 
eldest son of Thomas and Susanna (Odell) Smith. He was born at New- 
port Pagnell, England, on the 8th October, 1697, old style, and died in 
the city of New York 22d November, 1769. He studied the classics 



WILLIAM SMITH 265 

under the Rev. Mr. Stannard, minister at Simpson, and Mr. Wood- 
ward of Newport, and the sciences under Mr. Litten of the latter 
place. With his father's family he arrived in New York 17th August, 
171 5, and shortly afterwards entered Yale College, where he was 
graduated in 17 19, and from which college he received the degree of 
A. M. I2th September, 1722. At this period his inclinations, in which 
he was encouraged by his father, would have led him to devote himself 
to the church, but whatever profession was selected, he was bent upon 
pursuing his studies. The city of New York offered few facilities to a 
student, and returning to New Haven, Mr. Smith accepted the position 
of tutor or professor — he is mentioned by both names, although on the 
college catalogue entered simply as tutor — and acted as such from 1722 
to 1724. Although but twenty-seven years of age, such was his reputa- 
tion as a classical and theological student, so pure was his life, that he 
was offered the presidency of the college, made vacant by the retire- 
ment of the Rev. Dr. Cutler. The tempting offer was declined. Of 
the dead languages, Greek and Hebrew were his favorites, in both 
of which he was a ripe scholar ; but the law presenting attractions which 
were irresistible, every spare moment was devoted to its study. 
Happily he found in New Haven wise counselors, and in his father an 
indulgent parent, who imported for him books of study and of refer- 
ence, which were not to be had in the colonies. He was admitted to 
the bar 20th May, 1724, and on the 20th July following- began to prac- 
tice as a lawyer in the city of New York. He rose rapidly to eminence. 
Few cases of importance came before the courts in which William 
Smith was not retained, generally on the Whig side. His Hfe, which 
remains yet to be written, is interwoven with the political and legal his- 
tory of the times. Here but an outline can be drawn, with brief allu- 
sions to those prominent events which influenced his political career ; 
the first of which raised him while still a young man to the highest 
pinnacle of popular esteem. 

In August, 1735, James Alexander (who is said to have come to 
America in the same vessel with Mr. Smith) and Mr. Smith, having been 
retained by Van Dam in his defense against Governor Cosby, took 
exception to the composition of the Supreme Court, arguing that 
Messrs. De Lancey and Philipse were not legally entitled to seats, the 
law not having been properly complied with in their appointment. 
The plea gave great offense, and was never forgiven by the Court 
party. In April, 1735, the same gentlemen represented John Peter 
Zenger, editor of the popular New York Weekly Journal; Mr. De 



266 WILLIAM SMITH 

Lancey having in the meantime been promoted as Chief Justice in the 
room of the distinguished Justice Morris, and Mr. Philipse advanced to 
the second place. Again exception was taken to the composition of the 
court. The Judges refused to allow or hear the exceptions argued, the 
Chief Justice in great heat exclaiming, " You have brought it to that 
point that either we must go from the bench or you from the bar." The 
counsel refused to withdraw their plea, and boldly stood on their rights ; 
thereupon, i6th April, 1735, an order was issued striking the names of 
James Alexander and William Smith from the list of attorneys. 
Mr. Van Dam and Zenger, the printer, had in the opinion of the 
great mass of the population of the province been unjustly and harshly 
dealt with ; the treatment of the two popular lawyers added fuel 
to the existing excitement. Both were gentlemen of the highest social 
position, of large means, of great private and public influence, and were 
supported by most of the influential families of the province. The 
party in power soon found that they had gone too far; in gratifying 
personal revenge and jealousy they had weakened themselves and 
strengthened the opposition. Justly did Gouverneur Morris declare 
that "the trial of Zenger in 1735 was the germ of American Freedom." 
There was, moreover, a disturbing doubt whether the angry Justices 
had not rendered themselves liable to personal damages. Neither 
Smith nor Alexander condescended to withdraw from the position 
taken. Worst of all, the Judges were taunted with ignorance of the 
law, and mortified by the ridicule of the opposition — ridicule that still 
survives in the pages of Smith's History of the Province of New York. 
In 1737 advances were made to the two lawyers, which, being frankly 
met, the order depriving them was cancelled upon the condition that 
they should forego any right of action for civil damages. To assist his 
party friends and to strengthen the popular cause, William Smith 
accepted, 29th September, 1736, the office of recorder under Mr. Van 
Dam. With this sole exception, until 1751, he kept aloof from official 
employment, confining himself strictly to his profession and his duties 
as a citizen. 

Mr. Smith was appointed, 1748, in Governor Belcher's charter one 
of the incorporators of the College of New Jersey at Princeton, and is 
believed to have been also a trustee under the charter given b)" John 
Hamilton, President of the Council, in 1746. The historian of the col- 
lege. President Maclean, inclines to the belief that William Smith pre- 
pared the first charter, and also the rough draft of the second one. He 
says of him that "to the end of his life he was the earnest friend of the 



WILLIAM SMITH 267 

college, and one of the most honored and influential members ol the 
board." Many of his immediate descendants, sons and grandchildren, 
were graduated at Princeton. 

The indifference of the people of New York to their lack of facilities 
for education was, as it had formerly been to his father, a matter of sur- 
prise and solicitude to Mr. Smith. With the exception of those in holy 
orders, there are found in New York, during a period of many years, 
but two college graduates, natives of the province, Lieutenant-Governor 
De Lancey of Cambridge, England, and Judge Smith of Yale. In the 
city of New York the classical schoolmaster was left to starve. Judge 
Smith and his brothers had been forced to seek competent teachers in 
neighboring provinces ; his sons were sent to Yale, to Princeton and to 
Europe. To their regret, other gentlemen of English origin, whose 
numbers were now rapidly increasing, were compelled to pursue the 
same course. As the worthy Dutch burghers, notwithstanding their 
wealth, would not support a pedagogue by their voluntary contri- 
butions, William Smith, William Alexander and some of the Morris 
family in 1732 petitioned the Assembly to establish a free school for 
teaching Latin, Greek and mathematics. The petition having been 
favorably received, the school was established the same year, under the 
care of Alexander Malcolm. A commencement had been made, but 
much more must be done, and that promptly ; something more than a 
grammar school was a necessity. As might be expected, William Smith 
is found foremost among the founders of King's College. With a liber- 
ality beyond the age, his wish was that the institution should be free 
from sectarian bias; in this expectation funds were easily collected by 
lotteries, and a yearly grant was promised by the Legislature. In 
November, 175 1, trustees were appointed, composed, ex-ofificio, of 
Civil Magistrates, and James and William Livingston and Benjamin 
Nicoll. Presently it became apparent that the Court party purposed 
to divert the control of the college to the Episcopalians. The people 
took alarm, the press clamored in vain. Although the popular party 
represented nine-tenths of the population, they were overruled. Mr. 
De Lancey gained his point, but lost his popularity. There was 
no redress, except for the Assembly to withdraw a moiety of the 
funds collected, but this to the College was of little moment. Party 
spirit had been aroused. Trinity Church made a magnificent gift 
of real estate; wealthy Episcopalians, at home and abroad, furnished 
ready money. What at this time appears to be of little or no moment 
was at that period an absorbing pohtical question. Well might the 



268 WILLIAM SMITH 

Presbyterians dread the power of the Church of England, and 
resist what in their estimation became an entering wedge against 
their dearly won privileges. Their hard experience in England and 
Scotland was fresh in men's minds. The immense number of Scottish 
emigrants from the north of Ireland, driven out by persecution, mor- 
ally and physically a splendid race, could not forget their sufferings; 
most of all, could not forget the prelatist taunt that their offspring were 
bastards. As the Romanists denied the validity of Episcopal orders in 
the Church of England, so, in turn, the Irish Church establishment 
proclaimed that no apostolic power existed in a Presbyterian ministry 
to legally bind in wedlock. Unhappily they possessed the temporal 
authority to enforce their doctrine, and at times the home government 
lent their sanction to the monstrous claim. In Ireland^ for many years, 
in the eye of the law the Romanist and Presbyterian stood on the same 
ground ; neither were acknowledged, both were permitted to exist. 
The dominant Church, however, conceded to a foreign priesthood the 
miraculous gift to bind, if not to loose, but denied that the power could 
exist in a Presbyterian ministry. The pauper, peasant, perhaps disso- 
lute priest, in virtue of his ofihce possessed what the learned, pious, 
perhaps nobly born Presbyterian divine could never attain to. The 
lowest of the one was more exalted by the Anglo-Irish Church than 
the highest of the other. In Great Britain, Presbyterian honor had 
asserted itself with the sword ; their rights were secured by Parliament. 
In Ireland their congregations were at the mercy of an intolerant clergy. 
Priestly folly, the curse of the lovely isle, forced her hardy population 
to seek refuge in America. The Presbyterian refugees certainly pre- 
cipitated, perhaps turned the tide of war which gave freedom to a 
continent. 

In former days many of the great nobles, with some few of the 
clergy — Knox, Bishop of Rappo ; Dr. Usher, Primate of Armagh, who 
is styled in Wadrow's Biographies " not only ane learned, but ane 
godly man, although ane bishop," with some others, had protected the 
Presbyterians against the hostility of the Church. Old friends removed 
by death were not replaced by new ones, or the sympathy which 
is accompanied by active aid was withheld, because of the Jacobite 
principles attributed to the Scotch and Irish Presbyterians. The 
refuge America extended was more and more availed of. Each vessel 
that arrived at New York added strength to the national party, and 
rendered the Court clique more impotent of harm ; the brief " Golden 
Age" of the Tories was passing away. Presently, as the High 



WILLIAM SMITH 



269 



Church Tories, with increasing wealth, increased their pretensions, 
prominent men in neighboring Connecticut were heard to say in 
public, that "another Oliver might arise," and soon after, as Dr. Peters 
records, the fame of Governor Tryon was increased, because he was 
reported to have recommended to the British Ministry the Presbyterian 
Livingstons and Smiths, with the Dutch Schuylers, as the best subjects 
in New York. These were men who could neither be bought, fiat- 
tered nor terrified. As Englishmen, they would have their rights, and 
in the end were justified and honored both at home and in England; 
and this too, whether in the approaching^struggle they adhered to the 
mother country or to the colonies. ^ '^^'^^ 

In 1754 Messrs. Smith, Philip Livingston, William Alexander (Lord 
Stirling), Robert R. Livingston -(the— ChanceUor), William Livingston 
(Governor of New Jersey), John Morin Scott and others, assembled at 
the residence of one of their number, believed to have been that of 
William Smith, arranged a plan for a public library, and collected for 
the purpose i^6oo, with which to make a beginning. Under Governor 
Tryon a charter was obtained. The library then founded is now repre- 
sented by the New York Society Library. 

In 1 75 1 William Smith was appointed by Clinton, Governor of the 
province, without solicitation on his part and in most flattering terms. 
Attorney General and Advocate General, and was sworn in 31st 
August, 1752. The same year he was recommended to the seat in the 
Council made vacant by the death of Sir Peter Warren. The Gover- 
nor's letter, addressed to the Lords of Trade, and dated 24th October, 
1752, adds the significant testimony, that Mr. Smith was "the only 
lawyer who would and did consent to prosecute Mr. Oliver De Lancey, 
brother of the Chief Justice." That the " Golden Age " was then at its 
prime is shown by the fact that the recommendation of Governor 
Clinton to remove Chief Justice De Lancey from his ofifice was not 
complied with by the home government. Pursuant to a mandamus of 
the King, William Smith was sworn in on the 30th day of April, 1753. 
Singularly enough, among his unsuccessful competitors for the office 
is found this same Mr. Oliver De Lancey. Mr. Smith remained a 
member of the Council until shortly before his death, when he was 
succeeded by his eldest son. 

In 1754 Mr. Smith was appointed one of the four representatives 
from the Province of New York to the General Congress which met at 
Albany, and was the representative of the province to propose and 
receive plans for the Union of the colonies under one Government. 



270 WILLIAM SMITH ^ 

A few years later, 1760. he was offered by Lieutenant-Governor Golden, 
and declined, the office of Chief Justice, made vacant by the death of 
Mr. De Lancey. The offer was the more complimentary as it was made 
over the heads of three existing justices, Messrs. Chambers, Hors- 
maiiden and Jones. 

In 1763 Mr. Smith accepted the appointment of Judge of the 
Supreme Court of the Province, and retained the office until his 
death. 

Judge Smith was all his life a hard student. His learning and accom- 
plishments were as thorough as they were varied. He was an excel- 
lent linguist, a theologian, a good mathematician and possessed some 
scientific knowledge. As a lawyer he stood among the highest in the 
provinces, and both as lawyer and judge was conscientious and pains- 
taking. In every sense an Englishman, he possessed in an eminent 
degree that best of English qualities, an inbred determination to resist 
oppression and tyranny, whether exerted against himself or against his 
neighbor. Too late Great Britain acknowledged that men like him 
were, in the colonies, equally as at home her most desirable subjects. 
His person was commanding, his countenance full of intelligence; he 
possessed a strong constitution and uninterrupted good health. With 
unusual natural and acquired advantages, he was also endowed with a 
rare fluency of speech, a lively imagination, a most retentive memory 
and real eloquence. An obituary notice in the New York Gazette of 
27th November, 1769, admits him to have been the most eloquent 
speaker in the province ; in all of the provinces would have been equally 
correct. Whatever work Judge Smith undertook it became to him a 
pleasure, as well as a duty, to perform it thoroughly. But one portrait 
of the Judge is known to the writer to be in existence ; this, painted 
by WoUaston in 1751, is preserved among his descendants in Quebec, 
Canada. From it the etching which accompanies this sketch has been 
taken. 

Judge William Smith was twice married ; first by the Rev. Mr. 
David de Bonrepos, minister of the French congregation on Staten 
Island, the service being performed in the French language, on the iith 
of Mav, 1727, to Mary, daughter of Rene and Blanche (Du Bois) Het 
(see N. Y. G. and B, Record, 1880, p. 144, and Hist. Mag., 1868, p. 266, 
for some particulars of the Het family), by whom he had fifteen chil- 
dren. Mrs. Smith was born in the city of New York, 24th May, 1710, 
died 22d August, 1754, and was buried in the aisle of the Old South 
Church. Judge Smith married secondly on the 12th May, 1761, Mrs. 



WILLIAM SMITH ^ 271 

Elizabeth Williams, widow of Colonel Elisha i Williamo of g.n glnprl ^ and 
daughter of the Rev. Mr. Thomas Scott of Nithern, Herefordshire, 
England, and later of Norwich, where he died about 1747. Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Smith was born 17th October, 1708, and came to America with her 
husband, Colonel Williams, in 175 1. The Historical Magazine, 1868, p. 
267, states that, after the death of Judge Smith, his widow "returned 
to Wethersfield, and died there in the sixty-eighth year of her age." 
She had no issue by Judge Smith. 

The children of Judge and Mary Smith were all well educated. 
They were proficient in French and Dutch, and possessed for the period 
and city in which they lived an unusual knowledge of English litera- 
ture. The sons were familiar with the Greek and Latin classics ; two, 
if not more of them, were good Hebrew scholars. They were edu- 
cated in the Presbyterian faith, and were prominent members of that 
church. All adhered to the Republican party, and held to their father's 
conviction that as Englishmen, although born in the provinces, they 
were entitled to all and every one of the privileges and immunities 
enjoyed by their cousins at home. They were among and well repre- 
sented the descendants of those who had curbed the tyranny of Charles 
the First. 

As a family they were, by birth and training, tolerant of the 
religious convictions of others, and for this very reason were the more 
prone to take alarm at the very shadow of Tory and priestly practices 
as they spread over the new England and were fostered by some of the 
Governors. In opposition to the Court party of the several local govern- 
ments, they warmly supported their father's views, to strengthen the 
country by the union of the colonies under one general government. 
Faithful to the British Constitution, they were aware of its faults, and 
believed that upon its model one more just and sound might be 
devised for the new English country. In this they anticipated some of 
the reforms which the people of England in after years added to their 
liberties. 

MATURIN L. DELAFIELD 



I. William Smith, known as " Port Royal Smith," and also as the " Uncle," 
to distinguish him from his nephew, Judge William Smith. Of his life and issue 
an account is given in the N. Y. G. and B. Record, Vol. X., p. 32. He died in 
New York City, 15th October, 1736, of apoplexy, cet. 74, leaving a grandson and 
heir William Peartree Smith. 



2-2 WILLIAM SMITH 

II. James remained and died in England ; residing at Passenham, near 
Sioney Stratford, Buckinghamshire. He married and left sons and daughters. 

III. John emigrated to New York, where he married and lived many years. 
About the year 17 14, he returned to England and died there, leaving a family in 
New York. Nothing is ascertained with certainty in regard to his issue. William 
Smith, a " cousin" of the judge and of the Rev. John Smith, whose death is re- 
corded as having occurred 7th February, 1728, aged 30 years, may have been a 
son of his. 

IV. Samuel settled in Jamaica, West Indies, probably moving there at the 
same time with his eldest brother, " Port Royal " Smith. He married in the Island, 
and died there soon afterwards, cpt. twenty-seven years. 

s V. Thomas, the youngest son, was born at Newport Pagnell, i8th Septem- 

/ ber, 1675. He survived all of his brothers and his sister, and died in New York 
14th November, 1745, and was buried at the plantation of his son Thomas, in 
Smith's Clove, Orange County, New York. Thomas married in England, 13th 
May, 1696, Susanna, second daughter of Thomas and Christiana Odell, of North- 
field Meadows, Buckinghamshire, in which parish Mr. Odell owned a large estate, 
besides other landed property elsewhere. Thomas Odell died 13th May, 1698, 
aged 47 years ; his wife, Christiana, died 7th July of the same year. Besides 
Susanna, married to Thomas Smith, they had a daughter Mary, who died unmar- 
ried, and two sons — John, who died in infancy at Newport Pagnell, and Thomas, 
who when of age inherited the Odell estates. This gentleman, "falling into grand 
company, and being a very agreeable person of wit and humor, was much solicited 
by the nobility and gentry, which took off his attention from his own affairs. He 
soon spent his estate and afterwards obtained a small office under the Duke of 
Grafton, the Lord Chamberlain, of ;!^2oo a year. He married the daughter of Sir 
Richard Everitt, and died, as I have heard, in 1749, leaving a daughtei: Penelope. 
Thomas Odell, the father, was buried under his seat in the church at Simpson ; 
Christiana, his wife, John their son, Mary their eldest daughter, and Odell Smith, 
the youngest son of Thomas Smith and Susanna, his wife, lie buried in the church 
yard, before the South Porch of the same church and thereabouts, and in the 
church lie the dust of a train of ancestors, who have died in succession through 
many years." (From a note prepared by Chief Justice Wm. Smith, dated 9th De- 
cember, 1796.) 

Christiana, the wife of Thomas Odell, was a daughter of John Goodman, of 
( Simpson, four miles from Newport Pagnell. Mr. Goodman possessed an immense 
i estate in Buckinghamshire, transmitted, as was claimed, from the time of William 
the Conqueror, from father to son, the heirs with rare exceptions bearing alter- 
nately the names of Richard and John. 

Thomas Smith also emigrated from England, but at a much more advanced 
age than his brothers. He sailed from London on the 24th May, 17 15, with his 
wife and three sons, arriving in New York on the 17th of August following, bring- 



WILLIAM SMITH 



273 



ing with him if not wealth, at least a considerable fortune ; a fortune sufficient to 
place him immediately among the substantial citizens of New ^'ork. His new 
home offered many attractions ; still two things, in his opinion of vital importance, 
were wanting : schools or teachers to educate his sons, and the Communion of the 
Presbyterian faith. The first want Mrs. Smith and himself did in part replace, 
with the occasional aid, as is believed, of a tutor from New England ; the second 
he resolved should not be of long continuance. Almost immediately upon his ar- 
rival, Mr. Smith employed himself in gathering together the members of his church, 
many of whom had previously, as they continued to do when absent from New 
York, worshipped with the Dutch congregation. He has the honor of being one I 
of the founders of the First Presbyterian Church in New York As early as ( 
October, 17 16, a congregation, presided over by a resident minister, was assembled 
in the City Hall, and after 17 19 in their own building in Wall street, a church built 
upon ground purchased and held in the names of Dr. John Nicoll, Patrick 
M'Knight, Gilbert Livingston and Thomas Smith. In 1722 a part of the congre- 
gation, under the leadership of Thomas Smith, withdrew for a short period from 
the Wall Street congregation, and called the excellent Jonathan Edwards as their 
pastor. During the eight months of his ministry, his home was at the house of , 
Thomas Smith ; of his intimacy with the family, some account is given in ) 
Edwards' own words, in the sketch of the life of the Rev. John Smith, which 
appears in the appendix to this article. 

As old age approached Mr. and Mrs. Smith appear to have longed to return 
to the mother country and the bright fields of old England. With this in view, and 
intending to purchase an estate near Guilford, Mrs. Smith sailed in the Rebecca, 
Captain Banks, 7th December, 1728, and landed in England on the 15th of Janu- 
ary following. At London she was taken ill and died there on the 9th of March, 
1729, in the fifty-second year of her age. She was buried in the Church of St. 
Botolph, Aldersgate. 

Thomas and Susanna Smith had issue four sons and several daughters, i, 
William (the judge) ; 2, Thomas ; 3, John ; 4, Odell ; Elizabeth and Martha, of 
whom some account appears in the appendix. 

Note— In the possession of the Penn. Hist. Society there is a bound volume 
of the New York Weekly Post, 1744 to 1746, in which is found the book plate of 
William Peartree Smith. The arms and crest are the same as those upon the seal 
and book plate of Chief Justice Smith, the latter of which is here reproduced, but 
it has for motto Deus Nobis Haec Otia Fecit ; a worthy device for an expatriated 
family which had served in the army of the Parliament. Beneath is the name, 
William P. Smith, A. M. This Mr. Smith was the only grandson and surviving 
issue of William (Port Royal) Smith, and inherited the estate of his grandfather. 
His father, also William, who died probably 7th February, 1728 (?) was first cousin 
to the Colonial Judge William Smith. According to the excellent genealogy of 



274 



WILLIAM SMITH 



this branch of the family by T. H. Montgomery, Esq., in the N. Y. Genea- 
logical and Biographical Record, 1879, page 32, William P. Smith was bom 
in 1723, and died 20th November, 1801, and on the same authority, this 
the eldest branch of the American Smiths appears to be now extinct in the 
male line. 




ARMS OF SMITH 



APPENDIX 



275 



APPENDIX 

IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF JUDGE 
WILLIAM SMITH 

Thomas Smith, the second son of Thomas 
and Susanna Smith, was a farmer. But little 
authentic information hns been obtained of him. 
He is said to have been a man of education, as 
indeed could hardly have been otherwise, con- 
sidering the surroundings of his youth ; and is 
believed to have entered Yale College, but his 
name does not appear in the catalogue of gradu- 
ates. He owned property in or near New York 
City, and a large tract of land, which, or a part 
of which, appears to have originally belonged to 
his father, in what was then, from this family, 
known as Smith's Clove, the present town of 
Monroe, Orange County. It is recorded in the 
handwriting of his brother, the judge, under 
date of 25th January, 1725, that on that day 
Thomas announced his engagement to Miss 
Hannah Hooker, and another note states that 
Thomas' daughter Sadie, died 14th September, 
1729, aged 25 months. Miss Hooker, the in- 
tended bride of Thomas, is called cousin by the 
jitdge, and may have been a sister of Mehetabel 
Hooker, who had married the Rev. John Smith, 
and possibly a grandchild of the John Smith, 
who in 1714 returned to England, leaving his 
family in New York. During the Revolution 
descendants of Thomas Smith are mentioned as 
living in Smith's Clove. 

John Smith (Rev'd), the third son of Thomas 
and Susanna Smith, born 5th May, 1702, at New- 
port Pagnell ; died at White Plains, Westchester 
County, 26th February, 1771. He was graduated 
at Yale College 1727, where in addition to his 
other duties, he occupied himself with the study 
of divinity and of the healing art, then or at a later 
period receiving the degree of Doctor of Medi- 
cine. Among the papers of his brother, the judge, 
is found the statement, that while still an under- 
graduate, brother John married at Guilford, 
Conn., 6th May, 1724 ; we are left in doubt as 
to the name of the lady ; but of his family, we 
find that a son was born to him 22d March, 1725, 
that his daughter Molly, aged 17 months, died 
3d September, 1729, and that a son John died 
24th September of the same year, at Guilford. 



At this place he appears to have chiefly resicLed, 
for several years practicing there as a physician, 
but also at times in New York occupied with his 
profession. From this period his life and labors 
are traced by the Rev. Dr. Charles W. Haird, in 
his admirable History of Rye, from which the 
following is condensed. On the I3lh December. 
1742, Dr. Smith was ordained by a council of 
the Eastern Consociation of Fairfield County, 
which met at Rye, as minister of that place ; 
here he removed his family and purchased a 
house, to the no small chagrin and displeasure of 
the Church of England missionary, who plain- 
tively records the thoroughness with which the 
new minister entered upon his labors and in- 
creased his following. At a later period the 
churches at White Plains and also at Sing Sing 
were put under his pastoral care ; he removed to 
the former village and continued, as he had 
done at Rye, to practice, when occasion required, 
as a physician to the suffering body as well as to 
the troubled soul. The authority already quoted 
gives Dr. Smith high rank as an " able, earnest 
and influential minister of the Gospel," as ''a 
man of eminent piety, and of a very high order 
of intellectual capacity." His father, Thomas 
Smith, as previously stated, had been one of the 
founders of the Wall Street or First Presbyterian 
Church in New York City, and was among those 
who in the trouble of 1722 withdrew from the 
congregation and called Jonathan Edwards to 
preside over the flock. The famous preacher 
made his home in the house and with the family 
of Thomas Smith. " Edwards was then barely 
nineteen years of age, and John Smith but a 
little over twenty, and between those two young 
men there sprang up a friendship the most inti- 
mate and ardent ; which we have reason to be- 
lieve lasted for years and perhaps through life. 
They used often, Mr. Edwards tells us, to walk 
together on the banks of the Hudson, to con- 
verse on the things of God, ' and our conversa- 
tion used to turn on the advancement of Christ's 
kingdom in the world and the glorious things 
that God would accomplish for his church in the 
latter days.' He speaks of his separation from 
his endeared friend and companion as one of the 
most bitter trials of his life " (History of Rye by 
Rev. Dr. Baird, p. 3311- After nearly thirty 



I 



276 



APPENDIX 



years of lahor in the ministry Dr. Smith fell 
asleep among his people at White Plains, ami 
was buried in the grave-yard of his church. 

During the recent enlargement of the church, 
the rear of the building was extended over the 
grave and the upright slab removed further 
back ; the inscription kindly copied by the 
present incumbent, the Rev. Mr. Heermance, is 
as follows ; 

Here Lies the Remains of the Revd 

John Smith the First ordained Minister 

Of the Presbyterian Persuasion in Rye 

& the White Plains. Who was born in 

England May 5 : 1702 : Wore out with 

Various Labors & Fell asleep In Jesus 

Deceased Feby. 26, 1771 : Aged 68 Years : 9 Months & 

22 days. 

By Faith He Lived In Faith He Died & Faith 

Forsees a Rising Day when Jesus Comes While 

Hope Assumes & Boasts His Joy .Among the 

Tombs O Death O Grave Where Is Thy Victory 

Thanks be to God which Giveth us the 

Victory Through our Lord Jesus Christ 

Near by are tombstones to the memory of his 
wife and of two daughters. 

The History of Rye so freely used in prepar- 
ing the above sketch gives the marriage of the 
Rev. John Smith as obtained from papers in the 
possession of his descendants. He married 6th 
May, 1724 (the same date as given in Judge 
Smith's memorandum) Mehetabel, daughter of 
James and Mary Hooker, of Guilford — her 
father being " a son of the Rev. Samuel Hooker 
and grandson of the famous Thomas Hooker." 
They had issue four sons and eight daughters, 
whose descendants are said to be numerous. 
Mrs. Smith died as appears from her tombstone 
Sept. 5, 1775, aged 71 years, 4 months and 5 
days. One of the daughters, Susanna, married 
the Rev. Mr. Benjamin Tallmadge, of Brook- 
. haven, L. I., and was the mother of Colonel 
I Benjamin Tallmadge. 

Odell .Smith died young and was buried at 
Sini pson as already stated. 
"^"The daughters "oT Thomas Smith and Susanna 
Smith all remained and died in England. 

Elizabeth, the third daughter, married 
Thomas Herbert, of Acton, Buckinghamshire, 
and had Thomas and others. 

Marth.v, the fourth daughter, married Ed- 
mund Roberts, of Elrington, near Leighton 



Buzzard, Bucks and had Edmund, Thomas, 
John and perhaps others. 



DESCENDANTS OF JUDGE WILLIAM 
AND MARY SMITH 

William Smith, Chief Justice of New York 
and of Canada (known as the Historian), bom 
1 8th June, 1728. His life will make the subject 
of a separate paper. 

Susanna Smith, bom 24th December, 1729; 
died 20th March, 1791 ; married 14th Septem- 
ber, 1747, Robert James Livingston, merchant 
of New York (bom 15th February, 1725 ; died 
25th January, 1771), the eldest son of James and 
Maria (Kierstedt) Livingston, the feudal head or 
chief in descent of that family in America ; and 
had ten children. As doubly first cousins to the 
children of Chief Justice Smith, a short account 
of their lives is given. 

Mary Livingston, born 7th June, 1748, in New York 
City ; died in London 6th January, 1830. She married, 
first, license dated 29th October, 1765, Captain Gabriel 
Maturin, who died in Boston, about 1774-6. Captain 
Maturin entered the British service 12th April, 1756, as a 
Lieutenant in the 35th Regiment, was promoted Captain 
1764, and in 1768 transferred to the 31st Foot. He was 
appointed military and private Secretary to Sir Guy 
Carleton, Governor of Canada. Sir Guy returning to 
England, Captain Maturin, then in New York, was sum- 
moned to Canada and ordered to replace his chief in im- 
portant military duties. His wife and a younger sister, 
Susanna, afterwards Mrs. Armstrong, accompanied him 
in his northern journey. Mrs. Maturin married, secondly. 
Dr. Jonathan Mallet, an Englishman, who had settled in 
New York, sometime prior to the revolution. His first 
wife, Miss Catherine Kennedy, whom he had married 
about June, 1765, license dated 13th of that month, died 
in New York 3d September, 1777 (N. Y. Gazette, 8th 
September, 1777), leaving three children. 

Dr. Mallet's residence, which he had built adjoining 
the Kennedy house in Broadway, is reported as having 
been occupied by the British troops at the commencement 
of the war. (Note i.) He appears to have been the 
fashionable and one of the most successful of the 
physicians of the period, and is described as an educated 
and very agreeable man. During the war, 1776, to 1782, 
he was Surgeon, for part of the time Chief Surgeon, and 
Purveyor to the hospitals for his Majesty's forces in 
America. In 1783 his name appears in the army lists as 
Chief Purveyor only, and the following year is omitted. 

A letter from Mrs. Mallet, dated ist July, 1784, now be- 
fore the writer, tells of her arrival two days before, at 
London, with her husband and servants. After a passage 
of six weeks from New York, the Mallets, Mrs. Jauncey 
and another lady landed at Dover, where they met Lieut 
Mallet, a brother of the Doctor, who had also served in 



APPENDIX 



'■77 



America. At London, the Americans flocked to see 
them. Mention is made of Chief Justice Smith, of 
Thomas and Doctor James Smith, the latter in ill health, 
of Mrs. Plinderleith and her children ; of Mrs. Kennedy, 
probably her husband's mother-in-law, who was very 
kind ; of Miss Kemble, who was about returning to 
New York and would take letters. London was made 
very pleasant to Mrs. Mallet ; her husband's social 
position was excellent, old friends numerous, new ones 
very attentive. Her extraordinary beauty, which she 
retained until far advanced in life, is not only a matter 
of tradition, but is eulogized in more than one letter now 
faded and yellow with age. A portrait by Copley, taken 
about the time of her marriage with Captain Maturin and 
now in the possession of one of her nieces, justifies the 
admiration expressed by her friends for her loveliness. 
Two of her nieces, celebrated for their personal attractions 
are said to resemble her. 

In 1806 Mrs. Mallet became for the second time a 
widow, and although her thoughts turned towards her 
native land, and her letters overflow with affection for her 
kinspeople she could not separate herself from the new 
associations and her late husband's home ; there she con- 
tinued to reside until her death, which occurred 6th Jan- 
uary, 1830. Except among her immediate family who 
were a long lived race, she had survived most of her con- 
temporaries, but her interest in their children continued 
until the last. 

Mrs. Mallet had issue by neither marriage. Her step 
children, the son and two daughters of Dr. Mallet by his 
marriage with Miss Kennedy, formed her family. 

James Livingston, also called James Kierstedt Livings- 
ton, born 29th December, 1749, died unmarried 8th Feb- 
ruary, 1777, aged 27, and was interred in the burial ground 
at Princeton, N. J. Owing to an accident received in 
boyhood, he was an invalid and sufferer all his life. 

Elizabeth Livingston, born 14th September, 1751, died 
28th November, 1752. 

Elizabeth Livingston, second of the name, born 6th 
October, 1753, died 15th October, 1756. 

Colonel William Smith Livingston, born 27th August, 
1755, died 25th June, 1794, and was buried in the family 
vault of Abraham Lott, N. Y. City. Colonel Livingston 
was graduated at the College of New Jersey, 1772. At 
the commencement of the revolution he entered the army 
and held a command at the battle of Long Island, where 
he was taken prisoner. Confined for a short time in the 
Sugar House, he was paroled and soon afterwards ex- 
changed. He served throughout the war, and as Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel of Colonel Webb's regiment, greatly dis- 
tinguished himself in Rhode Island under General 
Greene. His gallantry and reckless daring gained for 
him the soubriquet of " fighting Bill," a name preserved 
in a doggerel verse of the period. Colonel Livingston 
possessed great physical strength, and shared with 
Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge the reputation of being the 
handsomest oflicer in the service. He married in 1774 
Catherine, daughter of Abraham and Gertrude (Cojeman) 
Lott, merchant of New York, but during the war a resi- 
dent of Beverwyck, near Morristown, N. J. Mrs. Livings- 
ton died 29th September, 1823, and was interred in the 



Livingston family vault of the Dutch Reformed Church, 
Rhinebeck. They had eleven children, of whom seven 
died in infancy. One son, William Mallet, entered the 
navy and was lost at sea, unmarried ; another son, 
Francis Armstrong, and two daughters, married and have 
left issue. To an agent from Europe who wished to 
induce them to take steps for the revival of family 
honors, now dormant, both the Colonel and his son de- 
clined taking any action ; the former making the charac- 
teristic reply, " that he preferred being an American 
citizen to being a Scotch Lord." 

Robert Livingston, born 29th August, 1757, died 8th 
September, 1757. 

Susanna Livingston, born 30th July, 1758, died at 
Trenton, N. J., 13th February, 1851. Married by Dr. 
John Witherspoon, at Princeton, 22d August, 1782, the 
Rev. James Francis Armstrong. Dr. Armstrong was 
born 3d April, 1750 ; died 19th January, 1816. Graduated 
at College of New Jersey 1773. Trustee of the college 
from 1790 until his death. Studied divinity under Dr. 
Witherspoon, and was ordained by the Presbytery of 
New Castle January, 1778. Chaplain of the Second Mary- 
land Brigade during the revolution. Secretary of the 
Society of the Cincinnati, 1790 to 1797. Pastor of the 
First Presbyterian Church at Trenton for 30 years. His 
useful and honorable life was spent in the service of his 
Maker and of his country, ably seconded by a mor' 
worthy wife. Their good works, the love and respect they 
inspired in both young and old, are cherished traditions 
throughout southern New Jersey, and their memories are 
held in honorable remembrance as among the worthies of 
the revolution. They had issue six children. 

Robert James Livingston, born 5th November, 1760 ; 
died unmarried 12th April, 1827, at Grasmere, Rhinebeck, 
the residence of his brother, Peter R., and was buried in 
the family vault at Rhinebeck. He had prepared him- 
self for and had probably matriculated at the College of 
New Jersey, when the British troops overran the State. 
Young Livingston, but sixteen years of age, accidentally 
learned that the American army was in motion and was 
secretly moving upon the enemy. He left home to join 
the vanguard of the Americans, and fell severely 
wounded at the victory of Trenton. Tradition states 
that he was wounded in the first onslaught and that for a 
few moments he was in the power of the Hessians, by 
whom he was roughly used. A lady, whose name unfor- 
tunately has not been preserved, had the lad removed to 
her house, sent for his mother and kept them until he 
could be carried in safety to his home at Princeton. 
Some years later an accident caused the loss of an eye. 
He went abroad and travelled in England and France. 
In New York he and his brother the Colonel were 
among the gayest of the men of fashion of the period; 
if somewhat wild, none the less popular, unless perhaps 
among the partisans and friends of Mayor Varick. But 
the life wearied him and he retired to his brother's seat at 
Grasmere. Fine natural abilities were sacrificed to the 
care of a farm, to his horses and gun. 

Hon. Peter R. Livingston, born 3d October, 1766 ; died 
19th Januarj', 1847, at his residence, Grasmere, and was 
buried in the family vault of the Dutch Reformed 



2/8 



APPENDIX 



Church, Rhinebeck. Peter R. graduated at the College 
of New Jersey, 1784. For many years he represented 
Dutchess County in the Senate of New York, and was 
elected Speaker 7th January', 1823, and President sth Jan- 
uar)', 182S. He was a member of the Council of Appoint- 
ment under the first Constitution of the State and a 
member of the Constitutional Convention of 1821. He 
married Joanna (born 14th September, 1759 ; died ist 
March, 1829, and buried by the side of her husband), 
daughter of Judge Robert R. and Margaret (Beekman) 
Livingston. They had no issue. 

Judge Maturin Livingston, of Staatsburgh, born loth 
April, 1769 ; died 7th November, 1847, at the residence of 
his son-in-law. Major Joseph Delafield, N. Y. City, and 
was buried in the Livingston vault of St. James' Church, 
Hyde Park. Judge Livingston graduated with the highest 
honors at the College of New Jersey, 17S6 ; studied law 
and was admitted attorney ; was one of the members from 
New York to the Constitutional Convention of October, 
1801; was appointed loth October, 1804, Recorder of the 
Citj' of New York ; and 3d February, 1823, Judge of the 
Court of Common Pleas for Dutchess County, being the 
first appointment for the county under the Constitution 
of 1821. He married 30th May, 1798, Margaret (bom at 
Clermont 5th February, 1780 ; died at Staatsburgh 28th 
September, i860, and buried by the side of her husband), 
only child of Major General Morgan Lewis and his wife 
Gertrude, daughter of Judge Robert R. and Margaret 
(Beekman) Livingston. They had twelve children, all of 
■whom survived their father, married, and with one ex- 
ception had issue. 

Smith, still bom 24th February, 1730. 

Mary Smith, born 26th March, 1732 ; mar- 
ried 13th April, 1749, John, son of William 
Smith, and died 12th October, 1750, leaving an 
only child, Mary, bom 17th July, 1750. John 
Smith does not appear to have been any relative 
of his wife ; his father William is described in 
the N. Y. G. and B. Record, 1880, p. 145, as a 
mariner and merchant, and is styled Captain ; 
he married first Gertrade, daughter of Justus 
Bosch, by whom he had the above John and 
others, and secondly Sarah, youngest daughter of 
Joshua and Blanche Het, and hence a sister of 
Mrs. Judge William Smith. 

Sarah Smith, bom 3d August, 1733 ; died 
1 2th October, 1815 ; married 31st October, 1755, 
Abraham Keteltas, minister of the Presbyterian 
Church at Jamaica, Long Island, and had issue. 
Thompson's History of Long Island, Vol. II., 
pp. Ill, 113, contains an interesting account of 
the Rev. Mr. Keteltas, and states that he had 
eleven children, of whom only one survived at 
the date of that publication. 

Thomas Smith, bom nth March, 1734, gradu- 



ated at the College of New Jersey, Princeton, 
1754. Licensed attorney 4th May, 1736 (Hist. 
Mag., 1868, p. 267). He was a member of the 
Whig Club, and prominent in his opposition to 
the illegal measures of Great Britain (Note 2) ; 
was a member of the Committee of Safety of ist 
May, 1775, and of the Provincial Congress of the 
same year. He stood well as a la^vyer, and en- 
joyed a large practice, both at the bar and in the 
management of estates. He married in New 
York, 22d November, 1758, Elizabeth Leinsen, 
or Lynsen, as spelled in the Baptismal Register 
of the First Presbyterian Church, and left a 
large family (Note 3). 

Elizabeth Blanche Smith, bom 13th De- 
cember, 1736 ; died nth December, 1817 ; mar- 
ried John Torrans, a merchant, from Ireland, 
who had settled in South Carolina, and had issue. 
Mrs. Torrans' tombstone in the graveyard of the 
Circular Church, Charleston, S. C, gives her 
name as Elizabeth B. Hatter Torrans (N. Y. G. 
and B. Record, Vol. VIII., p. 44). 

James Smith, M. D., bom 13th February, 
1738 ; died in New York, 1812. Graduated at 
the College of New Jersey, 1757. He received 
his medical education chiefly in Europe, and 
was graduated Doctor of Medicine at Leyden. 
His published thesis for the doctorate, dated 22d 
August, 1764, was de Febribus Intermittentibus ; 
the only copy known to be in America is found 
in a private librarj' in the city of ^e\v York, and 
bears the impress of Theodore Haak, 1764, Ley- 
den. "He is admitted (Dr. James Thatcher's 
Am. Medical Biog., Vol. I., p. 95) by all to have 
been eminently learned, thoiigh too theoretical 
and fanciful both as a practitioner of the healing 
art and in his course of public instruction." Dr. 
Smith was interested in the organization of the 
medical department of King's, now Columbia, 
College, and in 1768 was appointed to the Chair of 
Chemistry and Materia Medica, but resigned his 
professorship in 1770. Although an active and 
efficient member of the Whig party, at the com- 
mencement of the revolution. Dr. Smith removed 
to London, and there continued the practice of 
his profession. Among his patients, under date 
of 6th October, 1785, we find his brother, the 
Chief Justice. A few years after the peace he 
returned to New York. The Political Maga- 



APPENDIX 



279 



e, quoted in Smith's "Andre," is authority for 

; assertion that in London Dr. Smith was 

)minent in his devotion to his country. Jones' 

story of New York states, on tlie same author- 

, but a search has failed to identify with cer- 

aty the passage quoted, " that he was known 

all the debating clubs for arguing against 

iat Britain in favor of America." Dr. Smith 

married (Hist. Mag., second series, Vol. IV., p. 

266), about 1765-7, Mrs. Atkinson of Kingston, 

Jamaica. 

Anne Smith, born 19th July, 1740, married 

[ ] Bostwick of New York. 

John Smith, born 20th August, 1741. Men- 
tioned in Historical Magazine, 1868, p. 266, as 
an attorney. 

Catharine Smith, born 7th April, 1743 ; died 
8th December, 1776, and was buried in the grave- 
yard of the Circular Church Charleston, S. C. 
(N. Y. G. and B. Record, Vol. VII., p. 44). She 
married John Gordon, a Scotchman, who from 
London had removed to and settled in South 
Carolina. After Mrs. Gordon's death, and dur- 
ing or at the close of the revolutionary war, Mr. 
Gordon returned to Great Britain with his chil- 
dren, and died shortly afterwards in France, 
where he had accompanied an invalid relative. 
His children resided with and were brought up 
by their father's family. Two of his daughters, 
Mary and Jane Drummond, married brothers, 
James and Edwin Gairdner, and left issue. 

Martha Smith, born i8th June, 1744 ; mar- 
ried — license dated 30th September, 1763 — Col- 
onel Ann Hawkes Hay of the revolutionary 
army. His residence was at Fishkill, N. Y 
She left a large family. 

Samuel Smith, bom 24th June, 1745 ; died, 
unmarried, at Charleston, S. C, 12th August, 
1771, and was buried in the graveyard of the 
Circular Church there, at. it (N. Y. G. and B. 
Record, VII., p. 44). His share in his father's 
immense real estate, and which it was supposed 
would become of great value, he bequeathed by 
will to his sisters, Mrs. Livingston and Mrs. Hay. 
This property, for many years after the revolu- 
tion in the hands of trustees and their successors, 
was gradually dissipated, and proved of little or 
no value to the heirs. 
Margaret Smith, born 19th September, 1747. 



She married, probably at a period subsequent to 
the execution of her father's will (her husband's 
name not appearing in the instrument, which is 
dated 24th May, 1769), Alexander Rose, a Scotch 
merchant, residing in Charleston, S. C, and had 
three sons and three daughters. 

Joshua Hett Smith, born 27th May, 1749, 
died (Hist. Mag., 1868, p. 267) in New York, 
1818. He was twice married ; first, license dated 
13th October, 1770, to Elizabeth Gordon of Bel- 
vedere, South Carolina, who died in New York, 
1st January, 17S4, leaving two children. 

Joshua Gordon Smith, born in New York, 7th August, 
1771. 

Sarah Gordon Smith. 

He married secondly in England Anne Mid- 
dleton (Hist. Mag., 1868, p. 267), who survived 
him, but does not appear to have left issue. 

Joshua Hett Smith was bred to the law, and 
was licensed attorney 30th April, 1772. He 
practiced his profession with success, and prior to 
the revolution was regarded as one of the most 
promising young men in the city. In politics he 
espoused the Republican cause, and was among 
the zealous champions of constitutional liberty. 
He was not, however, in favor of a rupture with 
Great Britain, or of an entire colonial indepen- 
dence. As a member of the Fourth Provincial 
Congress, he carried out the views of his Orange 
county constituents, and opposed the ratification 
of the National Declaration of Independence. 
Prior to the battle of Long Island, Smith re- 
moved with his family to his country seat, 
Belmont, near Haverstraw (see Mag. Am. His., 
IV., 21, 1880, for an engraving and admir- 
able article entitled " Smith's House at Haver- 
straw"), a retired situation, famous for its natural 
beauty, and commanding very extensive views of 
the Hudson River ; in the neighborhood was his 
father's estate ; and here also his brothers and 
other members of the family owned immense 
tracts of land. Smith's means were sufficient to 
enable him to indulge in the pleasures of hos- 
pitality. Courteous, personally a favorite, of ex- 
cellent social position, married to an accom- 
plished lady, his house was constantly full of 
guests, and a favorite place of resort for the offi- 
cers of the army, French and American — to the 
former especially attractive, as their host was 



y 



7 



28o 



APPENDIX 



conversant with their language. \Mien the un- 
scrupulous Arnold sought and obtained the com- 
mand of West Point, social intercourse was natu- 
rally established bctsveen his family and that of 
M r. Smith. Arnold employed every means in his 
power to ingratiate himself with Smith. If the 
proprietor of Belmont were found to be tractable, 
his house and its neighborhood would prove of 
great strategic importance in the contemplated 
negotiation and the future movements of the con- 
spirators. The locality was well known to many 
British officers, especially to Major Andre, who 
had resided at Haverstraw as a prisoner after his 
capture by the American troops before the walls 
of Quebec in 1775. Arnold had won and be- 
trayed the esteem of those who had befriended 
his youth and early manhood. Montgomery, 
Gates, Washington, were each in turn the victims 
of his hypocritical arts ; was he likely to fail 
with a countrj' gentleman, whose sympathies 
were with his countr>'men, but who did not 
disguise his sympathy with the eflorts of the 
peace commissioners, of whom his brother was 
one. The details of Arnold's plot, his failure, 
the part taken by Joshua Hett Smith are matters 
of history ; the vexed question of Smith's inno- 
cence or guilty participation remains unsettled. 
Had West Point fallen, its garrison been taken, 
the momentous consequences to the patriot cause 
could hardly be exaggerated ; necessarily, indis- 
criminate odium fell upon all who had in any 
manner participated in the plot. On Satur- 
day, 23d September, 1780, at Pine Bridge, 
Smith bade farewell to Major Andre, whom he 
knew only as Mr. Anderson, not recognizing in 
him the gentleman whom a few years before he 
had met at the table of Colonel Hay, and took 
the northern road to Fishkill intending to join 
his family then visiting at the house of his 
brother-in-law Colonel Ann Hawkes Hay ; the 
Colonel having married a sister of Mr. Smith. 
On the route he stopped to dine with Arnold, 
and in the evening at Fishkill supped in com- 
pany with General Washington, with whom he 
was well acquainted. The next day, Sunday, he 
rode to Poughkeepsie and back. The day fol- 
lowing, the 25th, was passed pleasantly with his 
family. That night he was arrested and carried 
before General W'ashington. From this date 



until the 22d May, 1781, seven long months, , 
was held a prisoner, often in want of common 
necessaries, constantly subject to indignities. 
Tried first before a court martial, he wa; 
presently transferred to the civil authorities 
another tedious trial followed. From the littl 
contemporaneous authentic data it w^ould appea: 
that both the military and civil courts were em 
barrassed with their prisoner and in doubt what/j 
to do with him. The more the matter was in. 
quired into, the more probable it appeared that 
Smith had had no knowledge of Arnold's in- 
famous purpose. Smith asserted that he be- 
lieved Arnold to be engaged in a legitimate en 
terprise from which possibly an honorable peace 
might result. The testimony adduced, and his 
own conduct, bore witness to the truth of hii 
assertions. On the other hand, in view of the 
part he had taken, of his intimacy with Arnold, f 
how was it possible to believe him innocent ? 
Smith tells us that on numerous occasions he 
was approached by soldiers and others, with 
offers to assist in or bring about his escape, but 
that conscious of innocence and distrusting the 
motives of those who offered their services, he 
forebore to make the attempt. It is not at all 
improbable that the puzzled authorities were the 
authors of the plan to rid themselves of a trouble- 
some .case ; if so, their action was not withoul 
precedent during the revolution in the Americi 
army. Worn out with suspense, sick at heai 
his sentence still delayed, Smith finally resolvei 
to escape. A devoted wife arranged the details, 
her spirited conduct rendered them successf 
throughout the whole sad business she shim 
in the bright, unsullied character of an affei 
tionate, unwear}^ing wife and comforter. Smil 
reached the British lines in safety, and in Ne' 
York found protection at the house of his brother,' 
the Chief Justice, where he was presently joino 
by his family (Note 4). Through Lieutenai 
General Robertson, some of his own houses ani 
others belonging to the family estate, occupied b| 
the British as the property of absentees, were n 
stored to him. In one of these he took up his rei 
dence and resumed the practice of his professio; 
On the 5th of November, 1783, he sailed in thi 
transport Ann for Falmouth, his wife, worn out 
with the anxieties of the past few years, beii 



APPENDIX 



281 



too ill to accompany him. On the first of the 
new year, as her husband sadly records, she died 
of a broken heart. The Royal Gazette of the pre- 
vious month contains an advertisement for sale 
by auction of No. 7 Smith, now William Street, 
in possession of Joshua Hett Smith, and of a lot 
on the west side of Broadway, extending to the 
river. The sale was doubtless ordered to provide 
ready funds for the use of the exile. For several 
_years Smith was a wanderer, his health broken 
and by many regarded as a proscribed man. In 
1 801 he had returned to America and is found 
travelling in South Carolina and Georgia. His 
work entitled " Smith's narrative of the causes 
which led to the death of Major Andre," was pub- 
lished in London, 180S, and has been severely 
criticised by writers on American history. In it 
the author does not hesitate to plainly express, 
often in an abusive manner, his opinion of those 
by whom he deemed himself wronged. Wash- 
ington, the members of the court martial, and 
especially Lafayette, are accused of having pre- 
judged his case and assumed his guilt. Nothing 
is more probable, and the charge may also be 
brought against the nation ; with the information 
first obtained of the circumstances, it was impos- 
sible to do otherwise. That the English regarded 
Smith as the dupe but not the confederate of 
the astute Arnold is sufficiently proved by the 
miserable pension allowed him. Arnold was re- 
warded with wealth, honors and high military 
rank. Smith's pittance was not sufficient to 
provide for his family, who for a period at least 
were cared for by others. Had Smith been a 
partner in Arnold's infamy, his reward would 
have been proportionate, and wealth, not poverty, 
would have been his lot ; in that case his widow 
would not have supported a precarious existence 
as a school teacher (His. Mag., 1868, p. 267). 
Great Britain is not wont to neglect those who 
venture all in her service. 



NOTES TO APPENDIX 

Note i. Mr. William Kelby, the thorough and con- 
scientious student of the history of old New York, who 
with rare courtesy is always prepared to aid those who 
follow in his footsteps, has furnished the writer with the 
following extract from a letter dated 12th April, 1776, in 
Almon's American Remembrancer, Vol. III., p. 86: "O, 
the houses in New York, if you could but see the inside 



of them ! Occupied by the dirtiest people on the conti- 
nent (for the empty houses are almost all taken up by the 
soldiers). Kennedy's new house, Mallet's, and one next 
to it, had 600 men in them. If the owners ever get pos- 
session again, I am sure they must be years in cleaning 
them, unless they get new floors and new plaster on the 
walls." 

Note 2. Jones' History of New York places the sons of 
Judge Smith among the prominent constitutional leaders 
of the day, and to their credit no one of them finds favor 
in the sight of the Tory writer. Without reproducing 
the characteristic abusive language of that author, he 
states in substance, Vol. II., p. 7, that Alexander Mc- 
Dougal, Isaac Sears, John Lamb, Peter R. Livingston 
and the brothers Thomas, John and Joshua Hett Smith, 
were the principal leaders of the Republican clubs. Again, 
Vol. I., pp. 19 and 20, that Thomas and Doctor James 
Smith, with Judge Robert R. Livingston, his son Robert 
R. Jr. (the Chancellor) and others, ■jave efficient aid to 
the great triumvirate, William Livingston, William 
Smith and John Morin Scott, in the publication of the 
American Whig and Watchman. The writer regrets that 
he does not find other authority to connect the younger 
brothers of the Chief Justice with the distinguished 
gentlemen, who principally conducted the above publica- 
tion. 

Note 3. The following advertisement from 
Mr. Thomas Smith describing his seat at Haver- 
straw is copied from the New York Packet, 
November 15, 1781 : 

To be Sold or Lett, Immediately, The Farm on which 
the Subscriber now lives, at Haverstraw, in the county of 
Orange, within three miles of King's ferry. There is on 
the premises a new stone house, with six fireplaces, and 
good cellars under the whole ; a compleat large barn, with 
proper hovels for cattle, — a frame house for an overseer, 
and a good garden, inclosed with a stone fence ; 150 acres 
of meadow well ditched, and now in a mowable state, 
and as much more may be made with little trouble and 
expence ; a sufficient quantity of woodland for fencing 
and fuel, and a young bearing orchard : The farm com- 
mands a large out drift for cattle, and a landing on Hud- 
son's river, within three-quarters of a mile from the 
house. The situation in point of prospect, is equal to 
any in the State, and the most frequented public road to 
and from the eastern and western States, runs along the 
front of the farm ; it is an advantageous stand for a 
farmer, merchant or innkeeper, and is an elegant situa- 
tion for a gentleman's country seat : The farm is in 
tolerable repair, and a sufficient quantity of chestnut 
rails are already provided to put it into compleat order. 
The terms of payment will be made easy to the pur- 
chaser, and if rented the farming utensils, hay, grain, 
horses, cattle and hogs, with a quantity of household 
furniture, may be had with the farm on the most reason- 
able terms. 

Wanted immediately by the subscriber, a small house, 
with twenty or thirty acres of land, either in the western 
part of New Jersey, or in the interior part of Connecti- 
cut ; it will be either rented during the present war, or 



282 



APPENDIX 



purchased, or taken in exchange, as may best suit the 
owner. Thomas Smith. 

November 12, 1781. 

Note 4. With Jones anything which tended to the dis- 
advantage of the Presbyterian Smiths was grist for the 
veracious History of New York ; a history whose pre- 
tended facts are in great part extracted from contem- 
poraneous Tory prints. If the authorities cited failed to 
express themselves with sufficient force, it was not be- 
neath the Honorable Mr. Jones to supply what he 
deemed to be lacking. For instance, compare the follow- 
ing as copied from the Political Magazine, Vol. II., p. 62, 
1781, with Jones' pretended quotations therefrom (he 
citing vol. and page) Vol. I., p. 385, and also p. 20 — the 
latter assigned to the same authority and very possibly 
derived from the same item: 

From the Political Magazine^ Vol. //.,/. 62. " Cir- 
cumstancts respecting the betraying 0/ Major Andrei 
When Major Andr^ went to consult with General 
Arnold, he was carried to the house of a Mr. Smith, 
brother to the Smith lately appointed Chief Justice of 
New York by Gen. Robertson, and also brother to a Dr. 
Smith, who lately lived in Downing Street, Westminster, 
and who is said to have gone off the morning that the 
soldiers fired on the rioters, and whose negro woman was 
hanged for being concerned in the burnings. While Major 
Andre was communicating with General Arnold, he lived 
at the house of Smith, and wore Smith's clothes, and 
when he set out from Washington's camp Smith attended 
him till within about twelve miles of Kingsbridge, where 
Andre told him he knew his way perfectly well. Just 
after Smith left him, he was taken, and, at that very time 
he had on Smith's clothes. Washington has tried Smith 
for being concerned in what they call Arnold's con- 
spiracy ; but the trial has turned out a mere farce ; for 
Smith has not suffered any punishment. The people at 
New York therefore believe that Smith betrayed Andre 
to the rebels, and are of opinion he never can clear up his 
character anywhere but at the gallows. 

From Jones' History 0/ New York duritig the Revo- 
lutionary War— Vol. /., /. 385. " The Political Maga- 
zine, second vol., page, 62, speaks of this affair as fol- 
lows : When Major Andr^ went to consult with General 
Arnold, he was carried to the house of a Mr. Smith, 
brother to the Smith who went off the morning the 
soldiers fired upon the rioters ; his negro wench was 
hanged for being concerned in the burnings. While 
Andre was communicating with Arnold, he lived in 
Smith's house and wore Smith's clothes ; upon his return. 
Smith attended him. Just after Smith left him at Tarry- 
town he was taken, and at that very time had on Smith's 
old clothes. He was tried for being concerned in Arnold's 
conspiracy. The trial turned out a farce. Smith was 
never punished. The Loyalists therefore believe that 
Smith betrayed Andre and are of opinion he never can 
clear up his character but under the gallows." 

From yones' History 0/ New York during the Revo- 
lutionary IVar, Vol. I., p. 20. "The Political Maga- 



zine, in spe.-xking of William Smith, the late Chief Justice 
of New York and now of Canada, says : ' The Chief 
Justice had a brother, one Dr. Smith, who lived in 
Downing Street ; that he was an intimate of Silas Deane 
and of John the Painter, who set fire to the Dock Yard 
at Portsmouth, for which he was executed ; that he was 
known in all the debating clubs for arguing against Great 
Britain in favor of America.^" 

The Gentleman's Magazine for 1777, pp. 121-124, con- 
tains a " Narrative of the trial of James Aitken, other- 
wise John the Painter, at Winchester Assizes, for setting 
fire to the rope walk in his Majesties Dock Yard at Ports- 
mouth, December 7, 1776."' Before his execution on the 
loth of March following, John confessed his crime and 
gave a statement of his life and wanderings. These are 
in part confirmed by other witnesses. The account and 
a comparison of the dates sufficiently dispose of Jones' so- 
called quotation, Vol. I., p. 20. The animus and value of 
the quotation on page 385 is confessed by its departures- 
from the original. 

The Gentleman's Magazine of July, 1780, page 343^ 
mentions the trial and execution of Charlotte Gardiner, a 
black woman, for active participation in the Lord Gordon 
riots. The Political Magazine, Vol. I., pp. 497 and 500, 
gives other details of Charlotte, mentions the disposal of 
her remains and place of burial, and states that the 
"black woman was almost in rags." No one of these 
notices allude to Dr. Smith. Had the woman been 
a slave of or belonged to a prominent American, resid- 
ing in London, the sensational writers would not have 
failed to have given prominence to the fact. A year 
later the last mentioned periodical asserts that the 
woman belonged to Dr. Smith, and that the Doctor is 
said to have gone off the morning that the soldiers fired 
on the rioters. Jones asserts. Vol. I., pp. 20 and 21. that 
Dr. Smith, " a person of strict Republican principles, a 
professed enemy to monarchy, a strict independent, a 
hater of Episcopacy," etc., etc., " left England and fled 
to Brussels, in Flanders." The writer is without docu- 
mentary' evidence to prove where Dr. Smith resided 
immediately after the Lord Gordon riots, which occurred 
in June, 1780, but soon after that time he is mentioned 
and described as living in London and occupied with the 
practice of his profession. 

The baptismal registry of the First Presbyterian 
Church of New York opens with the entries of the dates 
of the births and baptisms of the children of Judge Wil- 
liam and Mary Smith. These, as printed in the New 
York Gen. and Biog. Record, Vol. IV., p. 99, present 
three variations from the copy of the family record in 
possession of the writer. The birth of the eldest 
daughter, Susanna, is entered as on the 24th December, 
1728, in the family bible 24th December, 1729 ; her elder 
brother having been bom i8th June, 1728, the latter is 
beyond dispute the correct one. Marj' and Elizabeth 
Blanche are entered respectively as born 24th March, 1731, 
and i8th December, 1736 ; the family Bible gives the dates 
as 26th March and 13th December of the same years. 




# 



i^'^i^lfm- 



"m: 




WILLIAM SMITH-THE HISTORIAN 



CHIEF JUSTICE OF NEW YORK AND OF CANADA 



WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 

CHIEF JUSTICE OF NEW YORK AND OF CANADA 

William Smith, " the historian," Chief Justice of New York and of 
Canada, was born in the city of New York, i8th June, 1728, and died at 
Quebec, Canada, 3d December, 1793. Inheriting his father's character 
and studious disposition, he made the best use of his time both at school 
in New York and at Yale College. The study of Hebrew, in which 
language he had already made some progress under the instruction of 
his father, was pursued at college, and there too he studied medicine, a 
science for which many of his family exhibited a natural taste and talent. 
He was graduated in 1745, and immediately entered his father's office, 
studying law, together with William Livingston, the future war gov- 
einor of New Jersey, and was admitted to the bar 22d October, 1750. 
Forming a partnership with Livingston, the young lawyers almost imme- 
diately enjoyed a large and lucrative practice. Trusted, respected, 
admired for their talents, clients sought them not onl}- from their own, 
but from the adjoining provinces. The son of Mr. Smith, writing of his 
father's career as a lawyer, says: "If he saw a cause was unjust, he 
would state that it was so, and if the litigant parties persisted in their 
respective views, he would desire them to seek another counsellor ; if 
he found a cause doubtful, he always advised his client to compromise. 
When differences were referred to him, which he settled, he would 
receive no reward, though offered it by both parties, considering him- 
self in these cases as a judge, observing that a judge ought to take no 
money." 

Smith's religious belief and political faith were those of his family. 
His convictions were decided ; his character straightforward and sin- 
cere; his temper singularly calm and under control; his eloquence, his 
power of application, his learning were undoubted. His address was 
kind and winning, one best calculated to make and retain through life 
devoted friends. Brought up in the midst of political excitement, the 
leaders of the great National party being allied with his father and 
generally intimate at his house, such a man, so situated, inevitably 
became himself a leader. There is scarce a chapter in the local history 
of the period in which his name does not appear. His life, as well as 
that of his father, is yet to be written ; material is abundant. There is 



WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 419 

probably not one of his contemporaries engaged in civil pursuits whose 
biography would be more instructive. In a brief memoir it is difficult 
to select what to touch upon, what to leave unsaid. His literary 
labors,' his interest in the Church, in the boundary disputes, his legal 
successes and opinions, cannot in these short notes be even alluded to. 

In February, 1767, Governor Moore writes to England, that William 
Smith is at the head of his profession of the law, and requests that he 
may be appointed to a seat in his Majesty's Council in the room of his 
father, the Judge, who with advancing years desired to retire. The 
proposal was immediately complied with, Mr. Smith receiving the 
appointment the same year. Sincerely attached to the country of his 
birth, Mr. Smith was none the less devoted to his sovereign. The 
dissensions between Great Britain and the Colonies gave him intense 
sorrow, especially as he was fully conscious of the injustice with which 
his fellow countrymen were treated. On intimate terms with the 
leaders of both factions, it became the business of his life to endeavor to 
soothe the violence of party feeling and to reconcile their differences. 
Naturally he won the ill will of some few of the extremists among the 
citizen tories, who with narrow minds would acknowledge no right 
except on their own side, and naturally too, as time advanced and 
neutrality was no longer possible, some of the whigs, disappointed in 
securing his great talents exclusively for their cause, abused him as a 
trimmer, a term applied to many a conscientious statesman, both before 
and since. An instance of this kind of abuse appeared in the Pennsyl- 
vania Evening Post of 17th September, 1780; it is given in the notes to 
this article.' So long as there was any hope Mr. Smith strove to bring 
about an adjustment. Even as late as the close of 1775, through his 
brother Thomas, a member of the Provincial Assembly, he endeavored 
to " open a plan towards reconciliation, under the form of instructions 
to the delegates for this Province (New York) at Philadelphia." He had 
at an early period prepared and urged a proposition for the union of 
all the colonies under one administration, firmly bound to the mother 
country, containing guaranteed concessions, w^hich it was hoped would 
terminate the chief causes of irritation. The plan was approved by the 
British Ministry, but was not brought before Parliament. 

Nothing is found to justify the assertion in Sabine's Loyalists that 
Mr. Smith was undecided which side to choose. His large estate, his 
nearest relatives, his many and devoted friends were in America; his 
allegiance he believed to be irrevocably pledged to England. He does 
not appear, even in the midst of his family distresses, to have wavered 



420 WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 

for a moment. All of his sympathies may have been with the individual 
rebel, none were with the rebellion that severed the new from the old 
England. The important principles for which the Americans took up 
arms he knew to be right and just; he had himself advocated and ad- 
vanced them ; the mode in which redress was sought was quite another 
affair. He could agree with his friend, Joseph Hallett, by whom he was 
probably enlisted in an effort to revive in the city the Presbyterian form 
of worship during the British occupation, that to maintain their rights 
some for the good of all must expose themselves to loss of property, to 
imprisonment, to banishment; but he could go no farther, and events 
moved rapidlv. He denied the right of rebellion, and questioned the 
advantage to the colonists of independence. The infamous pretensions 
of the high tories were presently crushed as Parliament conceded the 
vital points in dispute, and through their peace commissioners, of whom 
Smith was one, exhorted the nation to return to their allegiance. Mean- 
while, however, independence had been declared, moderate counsels 
prevailed too late to be of service ; but the counsellors were held in 
grateful remembrance. Smith had, in season and out of season, well 
maintained the cause of British constitutional freedom, but had held 
back from the rebellion. A powerful mmority in England, which in time 
included the whole nation, justified the revolutionists as the exponents of 
the true English policy. In the colonies the principles of the constitu- 
tional liberties of England were being successfully defended. A century 
has passed. Tories on the American question must now be sought for, 
not in England, but in the United States, men who sigh for the halcyon 
days of British rule and military law, when the young men served in 
the loyal Provincials, when the maids were courted by the gallant red- 
coats. Twice since the revolution has the tory party reappeared ; in 
the war of i8 12-14 ^^^ in the late rebellion. They had opposed the 
formation of the government ; they and their children were too often 
not ashamed to seek its disgrace and destruction. 

Soon after the arrival of Sir Henry Clinton the bitter feelings aroused 
at the commencement of the revolutionary war began to subside, and the 
contest was conducted, at the north at least, with few of the atrocities gen- 
erally attendant upon civil strife. The British officers and soldiers rarely 
exhibited any personal ill will towards the patriots; friendly communi- 
cations were constant ; acts of kindness from foe to foe known to all. It 
was reserved for the traitor Arnold and his tory native associates, largely 
assembled in New York, to indulge in hatred, and the longing for the 
wholesale massacre of their countrymen ; to reproach the military that 



I 



WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 



421 



no terrible slaughter and devastation were committed as an example 
and warning-. The tories affected to despise the patriots; their insulting 
language, which found no favor among the more intelligent of the 
British, justly offended the Americans. It is fortunate, lest the viru- 
^lence of the class should be forgotten, that one of their number deemed 
his opinions of sufficient value to be preserved in writing, and that the 
New York Historical Society has consented to stand as sponsor for the 
publication of the volumes, thus giving the work sufficient notoriety. 

The manuscript of Judge Thomas Jones, after the lapse of almost 
a century, is with much parade presented to the public as a " His- 
tory of New York during the Revolutionary War." It deals with 
persons and incidents, not as they were, but as the author with per- 
verted mind chose to think they were or would have liked them to 
have been. Fraud, crimes, perjury, cowardice, murder, meannesses of 
every sort are attributed to those whom tradition, history, and the 
common consent of the world, have placed among the blameless heroes 
and founders of a mighty nation. Their leader, Washington, of course 
does not escape being pointed at as a knave. We may smile at the 
Tory abuse of American statesmen, soldiers and gentlemen ; their lives 
are known, their reputation established ; they need no defence. Ladies, 
the wives and mothers of distinguished men, are not forgotten in the 
indiscriminate abuse ; they may not easily be protected from posthu- 
mous slander, their lives belong to the home circle and fireside ; even 
to assert that they were free from guilt is more than objectionable. 
We may well imagine that on this one point alone the Honorable Mr. 
Jones has attained his object, and has wounded the feelings of the 
descendants of those whom he hated. The History was written for 
anonymous publication. The author, bred an attorney, and a Judge of 
the Supreme Court, pretends an ignorance of the law, and in volume 
II., page 105, actually says, "I am no lawyer." The better to conceal 
his identity, the misfortunes of Thomas Jones, a zealous loyalist, are 
made much of. Jones, a man of wealth, was the most prominent 
member of a Long Island family, some of whom were members of the 
Church of England, some Quakers. Owing to his extreme party views, 
he was, after imprisonment, banished the country, and his estates con- 
fiscated. His "veracious" history was written in England, while in 
exile. Its publication under his own name would beyond question 
have forfeited not only his hopes for a pardon, but his social position ; 
this was not to be thought of. Through his agent in New York Mr. 
Jones applied, 12th February, 1790, to the Legislature of the State 



422 WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 

for permission to return to the country. His name was accordingly 
inserted in a bill passed 30th March, 1790, permitting the said Jones, 
with others, "to return and remain within this State unmolested, any 
law to the contrary' notwithstanding.'" The editor of Jones' manu- 
script appears to have overlooked the pardon, and states that " had it 
been possible he (Jones) would have come back to his loved home 
across the sea. and spent his last days beneath the bright skies and in 
the pure air of his own Long Island." Jones received his pardon, but 
did not come back; he was better employed preparing a posthumous 
revenge upon his enemies. Before the revolution Judge Jones had 
failed to obtain a re-election by the people of his own Long Island to 
the Assembly. During the war he was, as he informs us, persecuted 
and cruelly used by his countrymen, slighted bv the English in 
America and neglected abroad. Small return was made him for con- 
fiscated property, no public office was conferred upon him. Other 
Americans, prominent citizens of New York and adherents to the 
Crown, were, he thinks, equally guilty as himself, and yet enjoyed their 
property undisturbed. The Smiths, Livingstons and many others, with 
whom he had enjoyed official intercourse, were honored and possessed 
wealth and happiness — he unknown, in ill health, childless, poor and in 
exile. It was more than the Judge could bear; hinc illse lachrymas. 

This long digression may be pardoned, as Judge Jones devotes 
many of his pages to the Smiths, whom, if possible, he hates with a 
more malignant hatred than he does the Livingstons. With these two 
families his volumes open, and as he warms to his work he concentrates 
his abusive epithets on Chief Justice Smith ; not only was Justice 
Smith the chief of his name, but his wife was a Livingston. The 
climax is reached with the assertion that this " artful, cunning, design- 
ing, hypocritical Presbyterian rebel," by whom Sir Henry "Clinton 
was absolutel}" governed," caused by his advice the loss of America to 
the British Crown. 

As the political horizon grew darker, and recourse was had to arms, 
Mr. Smith felt that farther intervention on his part was unavailing. 
Early in the spring of 1776 (29th March), as was his yearly custom, he 
left town for his country seat at Haverstraw, and did not revisit the 
city during the summer.* Under date of 24th September, 1776, Gov- 
ernor Tryon wrote to Lord Germain that Smith had not been seen or 
heard from in five months. The Governor himself had withdrawn, not, 
however, with Smith's approval, on board the man-of-war Duchess of 
Gordon, leaving the members of the Council to retire where they 



i 



WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 425 

pleased. Malice, aroused by jealousy, pursued Mr. Smith in his retire- 
ment. Of the many slanders, the following is selected as a specimen, 
because Mr. Smith deemed it of sufficient importance to authorize a 
denial or reply : 

From the Connecticut Gazette and the Universal Intelligencer, Sept. 13, i-]']6,No. t']0,page 2. 

London, yune 10 — The following letter is said to have been sent to Gen. Howe, in America, 

from a member of the Council at New York : 

New York, May 11, 1776. 

Sir. As I have not a doubt of my last letters to Administration convincing them that this city 
and province is the only spot in America for carrying on the war with effect agaijist the rebels, and 
that in consequence the forces expected this spring, as well as those now under your command, will 
be ordered hither, it may be necessary and advisable to send the army thro' the sound, between 
Connecticut and Long Island ; of the latter it will be proper to give a description. — It is 130 miles 
long, is very fertile, abounding in wheat, and every other kind of corn, innumerable black cattle, 
sheep, hogs, &c. ; is very populous, and Suffolk county in particular, as well as the other parts of it, 
all good and loyal subjects, of which they have lately given proof, and only wait to be assisted by 
the king's troops. The Island has a plain on it, at least 20 miles long, which has a fertile country 
about it, is 20 miles from the city of New- York ; Connecticut opposite to it ; New Jersey about 30 
miles distant ; Philadelphia no ; Maryland 130; Rhode Island 150: so that in this fertile island 
the army can subsist without any succour from Britain or Ireland, and in 5 or 6 days invade and 
reduce any of the above colonies at pleasure. Add to these great advantages, that the possession 
of the Narrows, and Nutton-Island, would be the destruction of this city, but of this I think there 
would be no need, for all the principal inhabitants are at heart with the crown, particularly all my 
brethren the members of the assembly, but as the mob now commands, prudence forbids them to 
declare without a military force. You have many with you who are acquainted with the navigation 
of the sound. The spot which I advise you to land at is Cowbay. W. Smith. 

From the Connecticut Gazette and the Universal Intelligencer, October ^, ^nd, N'o. 6-]3, page 3. 

Dobb's-Ferry, Sept. ig, 1776. 

Mr. Green. As I understand you have republished a letter in your paper, which was reprinted 
from a London paper, and said to be written by the Hon. William Smith, Esq., I beg leave to 
inform you that it is a forgery ; and I doubt not was written by some of the Refugees in England, 
with a view to render Mr. Smith's situation as disagreeable as their own was. The letter will not 
prejudice Mr. Smith in the opinion of those who knew him, but the natural and just jealousy of the 
times may lead those who are unacquainted with him to form an unjust idea of him. I doubt not, 
therefore, that, in justice to injured innocence, you will publish the following extract from a letter 
written by Mr. Smith, respecting the letter above mentioned, and insert a paragraph requesting the 
printers, who have already published, or may yet publish the forgery, to print this too — It is dated 
the fourth inst. I am. Sir, your humble servant, Eben Hazard. 

Extract of a letter from the Hon. William Smith, Esq. 

" The artlessness of the author of the letter in the Baltimore Journal of the 28th of August is 

very apparent. Indeed, as the forgery was contrived in England, he could not know of my removal 
from New York on the 29th of March — You will observe that the printed letter is dated there the 
nth of May, and that the writer supposes himself a Member of the Assembly. I have not been 
in town since March, and never was in the Assembly. These mistakes in personating me render 



424 WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 

the fraud manifest. There are other marks of it — No man who knows me will imagine that, after 
my asserting in the history of New- York (page 205) that Long Island was one hundred and twenty 
miles long, and Hempstead plain but sixteen, will suppose me the informer that the island is one 
hundred and thirty miles in length, and the plain twenty-four ; and that I am so ignorant of America 
as to place New-Jersey at fifty miles from Long-Island, and Rhode Island at one hundred and fifty, 
and Mar}-land but thirty from Philadelphia ; or that I should believe the people of Suffolk, and 
especially the Members elected but last spring, to be well affected to the measures now under 
the direction of Gen. Howe. 

I am not fond of oaths to remove groundless suspicions, or I should enclose you an affidavit 
that I never wrote a letter to Mr. Howe upon any subject whatsoever, nor to any man living in the 
smallest degree similar to the letter in the Maryland Journal. Such an affidavit I will publish, if it 
is necessary, for the satisfaction of my countrymen ; after which, as Mr. Howe is upon the spot, 
no man can believe the calumny, who does not think me both a fool and a knave." 

Information having been lodged against Mr. Smith, his name was 
entered among the first upon the list of suspected persons, prepared 
15th June, 1776, by the committee, to detect conspiracies. The mem- 
bers of the committee present were Philip Livingston, Joseph Hallett, 
John Jay, Thomas Tredwell, Governeur Morris, Lewis Graham and 
Leonard Gansevoort. Most, if not all, of these gentlemen, were personal 
friends of Mr. Smith; with Livingston, Hallett and Morris, he was inti- 
mate. On the 27th June, the committee, of whom there were then 
present Leonard Gansevoort, Mr. Livingston, Mr. Randell, Mr. Morris, 
Colonel Graham, Mr. Tredwell, "Ordered that a summons be issued to 
the Hon. William Smith, as a person of equivocal character, returnable 
on Saturday, 6th July next, at 10 o'clock in the forenoon of the same 
day." What then followed is not known, the journals of the committee 
to detect conspiracies not being found among the public archives. 
Smith, however, addressed the committee in writing under date of 
4th July, with an expression of his political opinions, and doubtless 
appeared in person, as directed to do, on the 6th. Smith's letter, or 
a copy of it, is believed to be in existence, but where, or by whom pos- 
sessed, has not been ascertained. Whatever may have been the decision 
of the committee, Mr. Smith was allowed ample leisure to remove with 
his family and furniture from his seat at Haverstraw to the Livingston 
Manor, where, doubtless in accordance with the orders received, he took 
up his residence. Here (Mag. Am. His., July, 1880, p. 21), he is found 
writing to Schuyler in December, 1777, for books: " Anything, French 
or English, provided it be neither law or mathematics, nor anything in 
favor of a Republican form of government." 

On the 7th March, 1777, the Provincial Congress ordered that all dis- 
affected persons, etc., should either take an oath of allegiance or retire 
within the British lines. Smith, not having taken the oath, was sum- 



WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 425 

moned before the convention. The generous treatment he received as 
having been misrepresented or misunderstood is best told in the lan- 
guage of the minutes of the Convention. 

June 7th, 1777. " Present, Colonel Van Coitlandt, Mr. Hobart, Mr. Harper, Major Tappen, 
Mr. Cuyler, Colonel de Witt, Mr. Cantine, Mr. Gilbert Livingston, Major Van Zandt, Mr. Jay, 
Mr. Yates, Mr. R. R. Livingston, General Scott. 

The council being informed that William Smith and Paterson, Esquires, are attending in 

town, pursuant to the order of the 3d instant. Ordered, that the Secretary wait on Mr. Smith and 
requc it his attendance in Council . Mr. Smith attending, was by order asked the following questions 
from the chair, to wit. Whether he considers himself a subject of the independent State of New 
York. He desires that what follows may be accepted as his answer. 

That he does not consider himself discharged from his oaths of fidelity to the Crown of Great 
Britain. He refers to his letter of the 4th July last, in answer to a summons of a committee of the 
Honorable Congress for an elucidation of his political sentiments. He has strictly conformed to 
his parol in that letter, nor will infringe it. He then conceived a separation from Great Britain 
could not be contended for with safety, to the rights, liberties, and privileges of this country ; and 
from a deep concern for the colonies, he prays God that peace may be restored by a happy, safe, 
and generous reconciliation." 

The Assembl}- adjourned to meet in the afternoon, and there- 
upon 

''Resolved, that the said William Smith and John Patterson be confined within the manor of 
Livingston on their parole of honor, to abide there until the further order of this council, or the 
future executive power of this State ; and in the mean time neither directly nor indirectly, by words 
or deeds, to oppose or contravene the measures of the United States of America, or either of them, 
for supporting their independence in opposition to the King and Parliament of Great Britain, or 
for supporting the present Constitution or government of this State. 

0}-dered, that the President take their paroles, which were accordingly taken, by them respect- 
ively subscribed, as follows, to wit : 
" State of New York, ss.: 

I, William Smith, Esquire, do hereby pledge my parole of honor, to abide within the manor of 
Livingston until the further order of the Council of Safety, or the future executive power of this 
State; and in the meantime that I will neither directly nor indirectly, by word or deed, oppose or 
contravene, the measures of the United States of America, or either of them, for supporting their 
independence in opposition to the King and Parliament of Great Britain, or for supporting the present 
Constitution or Government of the said State. Wm. Smith." 

It was not enough to exempt the prisoners from the operation of the 
general law, which decreed that the disaffected should retire to New 
York; on the 9th the order was so far extended "as to permit Smith 
and Patterson to go into and pass through the east camp and to attend 
divine service at Red Hook in the Rhinebeck precinct." (Jour. Prov. 
Con., Vol. 1, p. 961). 

Smith in no wise attempted to conceal that he did not favor the 
rebellion ; it is probable, however, that some may have thought, inas- 
much as he admitted that the x^mericans had many just causes of griev- 



420 WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 

ance, he might he brought to admit the right of rebellion, and be 
induced to join the patriots. This was not the opinion of the pro- 
prietors of the manor in which he was confined, or of any who knew 
him intimately; in their estimation an important point was gained in 
holding Smith aloof from the British, and thus depriving them of the 
value of his counsel and popularity. 

As the year drew towards its close, many causes, domestic and finan- 
cial, rendered it important for Mr. Smith to return to New York : doubt- 
less also the life of inaction wearied him, and the time appeared to have 
approached when his services as mediator might prove acceptable to 
both parties. An admirable letter to the Provincial Congress, request- 
ing that he might be relieved from confinement, is entered in full on the 
journal of that bodv, and is as follows: 

Manor of Livingston, 9th November, 1777. 

Gentlemen : — I have hitherto borne up against the misfortune of being a prisoner in my 
native country, from a consciousness that I have ever sought her welfare, and a persuasion that the 
measure owed its origin not to any suspicion of my enmity to her interests, but to views of general 
expediency. Being an enemy to no man I have a pleasure in believing no man to be mine. But 
whatsoever was the motive of it, my imprisonment is painful. It traverses my private interest, and 
does violence to my humanity, and tenderest offices of affection. I wrote, therefore, lately to Gov- 
ernor Clinton, to prevent my being longer separated from my estate at Haverstraw, where I have 
relations who are great sufferers, and my presence is wanting for their succor, and the recovery, if 
possible, of my plundered effects. But I have a further wish, and that is to repair to the capital, 
not only to answer a call upon me for aid from my daughter in England, but to gratify my own 
desire, to contribute towards abating the acrimony of the present war, and exciting to overtures of 
peace. I flatter myself, that though you may perhaps suspect the event will be a lesson to my 
vanity, you will nevertheless perceive the impossibility that any efforts of that kind will be injurious 
to the public. Except furniture, my ser\-ants and such conveniences as I shall want for my family 
in town, I leave everything else in the power of my country. All I have upon earth is here, as a 
pledge of my attachment to her interest. If she is happy, I am satisfied. I must share her for- 
tunes. If she is ruined, so am I. I am, gentlemen, your most obed. servant, Wm. Smith. 

The Congress assigned no reasons, but simply resolved that William 
Smith's request be not granted. 

In the meanwhile a committee of the Provincial Congress of New 
York had been appointed to draft a constitution for the new State. 
Jones' History of New York (Vol. I, p. 143) states that the author was 
"assured from authentic authority, brought from the rebel country," 
and what is more to the purpose, the editor of the work positively 
asserts (Vol. I, Note XLVII, p. 643) that " William Smith was consulted 
out of doors and did much of the drafting of the instrument." No 
authorities are cited and confirmation of the story has been sought for 
in vain. Still many of the members of the committee were personal 



WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 427 

friends of Mr. Smith ; some of them were, at the time, in constant social 
intercourse with him, and it is far from improbable but that, over- 
whelmed with public business, they desired and sought the aid and 
counsel of the great lawyer. If he were asked, we may entertain no 
doubt but that his assistance was cheerfully rendered. The anecdote, 
honorable alike to both parties, is an instance, as pleasant as it is rare, of 
personal regard and consideration remaining unbroken in the midst of 
civil war. 

The Boston Mirror, a periodical published in 1808-9, contains a 
notice of a very similar character, but of greater interest. Without 
acknowledgment, the article is in part reproduced, verbatim, in Sabine's 
Loyalists, and has since, more or less contracted, appeared in various 
publications. In full it is as follows : 

" The following is related to us by Doctor Mitchell himself, and we 
vouch for its authenticity. 

" Anecdote of Wm. Smith, Esq., the historian of New York, and late Chief fustice of Lower 
Canada, recommended to American historians. 

This eloquent man, having been an adherent to the royal cause during the revolution, left the 
City of New^ York in 1783, with the British troops, and was afterwards rewarded by his sovereign 
with a high judiciary office in Quebec. Judge Smith, although thus removed from the place of his 
origin, always contemplated the politics of his native country with peculiar solicitude. One even- 
ing, in the year 1789, when Dr. Mitchell was in Quebec, and passing the evening at the Chief 
Justice's house, the leading subject of conversation was a new federal constitution, then under the 
consideration of the States, on the recommendation of the convention which sat in Philadelphia in 
1787. Mr. Smith, who had been somewhat indisposed for several days, retired to his chamber with 
Mr. Grant, one of the members of the legislative council, at an early hour. In a short time Mr. 
Grant came forth and invited Dr. Mitchell, in Mr. Smith's name, to walk from the parlor into Mr. 
Smith's study and sit with him. Mr. Mitchell was conducted to a sofa and seated beside the Chief 
Justice, before whom stood a table supporting a large bundle of papers. Mr. Smith resumed the 
subject of American politics; untied his papers. After searching among them awhile, he unfolded 
a certain one, which, he said, was written about the time the colonial commotions grew violent, in 
1775, and contained a plan or system of government, sketched out by himself then, and which 
nearly resembled the constitution afterwards proposed by the Federal Convention of the United 
States. He then read the contents. The piece was long and elaborate, and written with much 
beauty and spirit ; ' this, sir,' added he, after finishing it, ' is the copy of a letter which I sent to a 
member of Congress in 1775, who was an intimate friend of General Washington. You may trace 
to this source the sentiments in favor of a more energetic government for your country, contained in 
the commander-in-chief's circular letter, and from this there can be no doubt that the citizens of all 
the States derived their leading hints for your new form of government. Thus, you see, the great 
and original outlines of your national constitution were dravm by a man whom the laws of his native 
land proscribed and forced away from its shores.' " 

The Chief Justice drawing near the close of his life still exhibited an 
engrrossing interest in the land of his birth ; what interested her, inter- 
ested him. Great Britain had goaded the Americans to rebellion, and 



428 WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 

repented when war only could determine the issue. Smith was among 
the tew who saw right on both'sides ; that of his countrj^men to resist 
tyranny, that of the British to maintain her lawful authority. However 
much he might regret the result of the war, it occasioned him no bitter- 
ness. The prosperity of the new nation rejoiced him ; her people, who 
had indeed proved their British origin, were also his people in blood and 
affection. 

It was not until the summer of 1778 that Mr. Smith was relieved 
from his parole, and ordered to remove to the City of New York. He 
was sent with his family, under a flag of truce, conducted by Colonel 
Burr, and brought with him, or received soon afterwards, much of his 
household furniture. According to Jones' History of New York (Vol. 
I, pp. 146-7), every consideration was paid to his comfort; his furniture, 
library, servants, chariot, horses, etc., came with him, and the bearer of 
the flag had orders to stop on his way down the Hudson, at Mr. 
Smith's country seat and bring away what he might wish to remove. 
We may hope that the statement is true, and that Mr. Smith had the sad 
satisfaction of again visiting his river home, although it was dismantled 
and plundered. Many friends greeted Mr. Smith's return to New York, 
while, beyond the British lines, many of the patriots felt assured that 
they had now in the city a fellow-countryman, high in the estimation of 
the public enemy, who could and would tell the truth concerning them. 

On the 30th of June, 1778, the committee to detect conspiracies, 
appointed by the Provincial Congress, issued a sentence of banishment 
against Mr. Smith. That such a decree had been passed, and that its 
object felt hurt and aggrieved, at what he esteemed to be unwarranted 
severity, was well known, but with the disappearance of the minutes of 
the committee the record was lost. It has been reserved to Mr. B. 
Fernow, of the office of the Secretary of State at Albany, in his 
researches, to discover the original document. It is found in a bound 
volume of manuscripts relating to the Massachusetts boundary ques- 
tion. Unfortunately it is not dated, nor has the handwriting been posi- 
tively identified. The document is endorsed " List of Banished Per- 
sons," and is here reproduced." 

Soon after Mr. Smith's return to the city he was appointed one of 
the commissioners for restoring peace to the colonies, and in the fol- 
lowing year was honored with the commission of Chief Justice of the 
Province of New York, in the place of Chief Justice Horsmanden, 
deceased. 

The appointment was communicated to Mr. Smith on the 24th of 



WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 429 

April, 1780. On the fourth day of May following he was sworn into office 
hi the City of Nezv York, before his Excellency Governor Robertson. In the 
appointment and in his installation to office no legal or usual form was 
omitted, and it is therefore difficult to understand the expression of the 
late learned Dr. O'Callaghan that it was " an appointment which has 
never been recognized " (Doc. Col. His. Pro. N. Y., Vol. VII, p. 910), 
or that of the historian Dr. Lossing, that " Smith was never really our 
chief justice" (Mag. Am. His., July, 1880, p. 33). Mr. Smith was chief 
justice, as had been his predecessors, under and by appointment of the 
British, and was by them recognized as such. Before his appointment, 
however, the Americans had declared themselves an independent nation, 
and were at the moment in arms to assert their sovereignty. Whether 
or not the civil appointments made by the British were to apply to the 
revolutionists depended upon the chances of war. 

The elevation of Mr. Smith to the Chief Justiceship was made with- 
out regard to the claims for promotion of the existing justices, Messrs. 
Ludlow, Jones and Hicks. The rage of Judge Jones (the "veracious" 
historian already alluded to) knew no bounds. He may have been 
aware that the office of chief justice had been tendered to William 
Smith, Senior, but now the appointment was conferred upon William 
Smith, Jr. Having mentioned in his own peculiar forcible language 
the return of Mr. Smith to New York, and his appointment as 
Chief Justice, Judge Jones thus disburdens himself ; Smith's character 
" remains much the same as it did in 1753, except only that after an 
experience of thirty years he has greatly improved in all that art, cunning, 
chicanery, dissimulation, hypocrisy, and adulation, which he possessed 
in so eminent a degree while a youth ; and which ever was, and ever 
will be, the true characteristic of a person professing the religion of a 
New England dissenter and the politics of an English Republican" 
(Jones' His. of N. Y., Vol. I, pp. 167, 168). This extract is given as an 
instance of the extremes to which high church and Tory passion led, in 
this case stimulated by an all-devouring jealousy. 

In New York Chief Justice Smith's influence was very great, both 
with the civil and the military authorities. Sir Henry Clinton and Sir 
Guy Carleton, the British Commanders-in-Chief, extended to him their 
fullest confidence ; beyond the British lines many of his political foes 
remained his steadfast friends. When in captivity, his letters from New 
York were delivered to him unopened, by the order of the Provincial Con- 
gress,' and his property was not included among the confiscated estates. 

At this time it is difficult to prove, but tradition asserts, and docu- 



430 WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 

mentary evidence may possibh' yet be found to support the belief, that 

Mr. Smith's acts of kindness to unfortunate prisoners of war were many 

and incessant. With his strong sympathies and fearless character he 

could not do otherwise : his high position and reputation enabled him 

to act without fear of compromising himself in an office where others 

of more timid nature and less established loyalty shrunk from exposing 

themselves. 

On the 5th of December, 1783, Chief Justice Smith, with his son 

William, sailed for England on board of the frigate which conveyed the 

British commander-in-chief, and landed at Plymouth on the tenth of 

January following. In England his reception was most gratifying. 

Mrs. Smith, with her younger children, continued to reside in New 

York ; letters intended for her are found addressed, in the early part of 

1784, to the care of her non in law, Dr. Mallet, Broadway, and at a jv/-/ 

later period to that of her son, Thomas Smith, counselor of law. Wall 
street. o.--..-^- w«^-. .^^ =i7r. 

On the first of September, 1785, Mr. Smith was appointed Chief 
Justice of Canada, but remained in England until the following summer. 
We find him in London on the 27th of August taking leave of his 
friends, and on the 29th on board of the Thistle frigate, of twenty-eight 
guns, to sail that day from Portsmouth Harbor for Canada. On the 
same vessel was the general with whom three years before Chief Justice 
Smith had left the shores of America ; Sir Guy Carleton, now Lord Dor- 
chester and Governor-General of all the British provinces in America. 
Time had increased and cemented the friendship between these old 
friends. The party arrived at Quebec on the 23d of October, 1786, 
and there Mr. Smith was joined by his wife and children. Henceforth 
the chief justice continued to exercise the duties of his high office with 
honor to himself and to the court over which he presided, until stricken 
on the bench with a fever which in a few days ended his life. He was 
buried on the 4th of December, 1793, the day following his death, in the 
Episcopal Church, at Quebec. 

Before his death, the act of attainder, which is mentioned as having 
been passed on the 30th of June, 1778, was cancelled, and the chief jus- 
tice was again at liberty to revisit the land of his birth. The petition to 
the Legislature, praying for the reversion of his sentence of banishment, 
is signed by Andrew Bostwick and Colonel William Smith Livingston ; 
it was passed by the Senate March 30th, 1790, and signed by George 
Clinton on the 3d of April following. The act includes the names of, 
and conveys a pardon to, James Jauncey, Abraham C. Cuyler, William 



M 



WILLIAM SMITH— THE HISTORIAN 43 I 

Smith, William Axtell, Richard Floyd, Henry Lloyd the elder, and, 
curiously enough, to Thomas Jones, who was then, as already stated, 
engaged upon his History. Copies of the petitions in favor of Chief 
Justice Smith and of Judge Jones, with a copy of the bill, are annexed 
in full, none of the documents having heretofore appeared in print/ 

Those who study Mr. Smith's useful and honorable life, who have a 
knowledge of his family and social circle, will not be disposed to criti- 
cise the declaration of an onl}^ son, that the Chief Justice was "distin- 
guished as a model of Christian perfection." Another authority declares 
that the great statesmen and soldiers of the revolution, while regretting 
that Mr. Smith had not made their cause his cause, found no fault with 
him, unless a righteous indignation against wrong was to be accounted a 
sin. His strong feelings and thorough convictions may on some occa- 
sions have led him, however deliberately, to express himself too earn- 
estly in regard to the conduct of those Tories who lived on the bounty 
of unworthy Governors. If in his History of New York he may in some 
few instances have judged harshly of those who did act, or who were 
credited with acting, as tools or dupes of the court, he recorded what 
he and the nation believed to be the truth. Nothing was written in 
malice or to serve personal or party ends. If the Church of England is 
not exhibited in the beauty of her purity, she has but herself and a mis- 
taken policy to find fault with, not the historian who records her acts 
and the attendant consequences. 

Chief Justice Smith married, on the 3d of November, 1752, Jennet, a 
sister of his brother-in-law, and second daughter of James Livingston, of 
New York. She was born' November ist, 1730, in New York, 
and died on the ninetieth anniversary of her birthday, November ist, 
1819, at the house of her son-in-law, Chief Justice Jonathan Sewell, Que- 
bec, Canada. Chief Justice and Jennet Smith had issue ten children, 
an account of whom follows in the appendix. 

MATURIN L. DELAFIELD 



432 



WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 



NOTES 

' Smith's History of the Province of New 
York was written by the Chief Justice, not by 
his father, Judge Smith, as is stated in Jones' 
History of New York, Vol. I, note xii., page 
436, and not in part written by the Chief Justice 
and continued by his son, the Hon. William 
Smith, as asserted in Sabine's Loyalists, Vol. II, 
p 312. The first volume was published by the 
author in London, 1757 ; the second volume by 
the New York Historical Society, 1826, and the 
two volumes, then first associated together in 
one edition, by the same society in 1829. To 
this copy is added a short but valuable memoir 
of the author, written by his only surviving son 
at the request of John \V. Francis, John Dela- 
field and David Hosack, publication committee 
of the New York Historical Society. Of the 
first (London) edition two large paper copies 
have of late years been discovered by Mr. Jo- 
seph Sabin, and sold by him at respectively 
$3C» and $200. 

There are several other editions of the first 
volume. One of these, published in Albany 
in 1814, contains a short, but well prepared con- 
tinuation, sometimes attributed to the Hon. 
William Smith, but claimed by Hammond (Pol. 
Hist, of New York, Vol. I, preface p. vi.) to 
have been written by Dunlap. The Hon. Ben- 
jamin F. Butler, in an anniversary discourse de- 
livered before the Albany Institute, 23d April, 
1830, says that the continuation is "generally 
understood to have been written by Mr. J. V. 
N. Yates." However short the continuation 
and apparently hastily prepared, both the style 
and the knowledge of his subject exhibited by 
the author deserve that his name should be 
known and enrolled upon the list of American 
historical authors. There is also a French trans- 
lation of the first volume of Smith's histor)'. 

' From the Pennsylvania Evening Post, Phil- 
adelphia. Sept. 17, 1780 — By accounts from Fort 
Clinton, on Hudson River, we learn that the 
magistracy of the State of New York send their 
disaffected inhabitants into that place, from 
whence they are transmitted in vessels under flag 
of truce to New York City. These persons are 
discriminated by their refusal to maKe attesta- 
tion of their allegiance to the State, and to re- 



nounce the tyrant of Britain. It appears that 
the highest characters are not winked at : the 
Honorable William Smith, Esq., formerly of the 
Royal Council under the British government, 
and author of the History of New York, &c., 
forced out of his inglorious neutrality, has been 
lately brought to the test ; and refusing the oath, 
was about four or five weeks since delivered to 
the enemy through this channel. His Majesty of 
Britain will be difficulted to provide for his 
faithful adherents, and may think in earnest of 
selling Hanover and his other German domin- 
ions, to raise a fund equal to their expectations. 
Where then will such as Mr. .Smith, who are 
justly despised both by Royalists and Americans, 
find shelter and relief? 

''■An act to allow the persons therein named to 
return and remain within the State. — WTiere- 
as, it has been represented to the Legislature 
that James Jauncey, Abraham C. Cuyler, William 
Smith, Thomas Jones, Richard Floyd and Henry 
Lloyd, the elder, are desirous of having permis- 
sion to return to this State, therefore, be it en- 
acted by the people of the State of New York 
represented in senate and assembly, and it is 
hereby enacted by the authority of the same, 
that the said T. J., A. C. C, W. S., T. J., R. F. 
and H. L., the elder, severally be and they are 
hereby permitted to return to and remain within 
this State unmolested, any law to the contrary 
notwithstanding. 

State of New York, in Senate, March 30, 1790. 
This bill having been read a third time, resolved 
that the bill do pass. By order of the Senate. 
Isaac Roosevelt, Prest., p. h. vice. 

State of New York, in Assembly, March 26, 
1790. This bill having been read a third time, re- 
solved that bill do pass. By order of the As- 
embly. Gulian Verplanck, Speaker. 

In Council of Revision, 3d April, 1790. — Re- 
solved, that it does not appear improper to the 
Council that this bill entitled " An act, etc." 
should become a law of this State. 

Geo. Clinton. 

To the Honorable the Legislature, etc.: The 
petition of David Floyd, of Queens County, 
farmer (son of Richard Floyd, Esq., formerly of 
the County of Suffolk), and George Stanton, of 
the city of New York, agent for Thomas Jones, 



WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 



433 



Esquire, formerly of the said city of New York, 
humbly sheweth that the said R. F. and Ths. 
J., are respectively named in the act of attainder 
passed in the year 1779. That the petitioners 
have lately received letters from the said R. F. and 
Ths. J , intimating their wishes that they might 
be permitted to return to this State. The peti- 
tioners, therefore, in behalf of the said Richard 
Floyd and Thomas Jones do most humbly pray, 
that the operations of the said act may be sus- 
pended so far as the same respect the said Rd. 
Floyd and Thomas Jones, and that they may be 
permitted to return to this State. 

And as in duty bound, etc., David Richard 
Floyd Jones, George Stanton. 

New York, Feb. 12, 1790.* 

*Mr. Smith left the city for his country seat at 
Haverstraw much earlier in the season than cus- 
tomary. His departure was most probably sud- 
denly determined upon in consequence of Gover- 
nor Tryon having sought security on board of a 
frigate lying in the harbor; many articles of value 
were left in his house which were not required 
for the immediate use of the family in the coun- 
try. After Mr. Smith's return to the city, in 
1778, the following advertisement was inserted 
theiV. V. Gazette oi 7th December, 1778: 

" When the subscriber retired to Haverstraw in 
March, 1776, he left in his house in the Broadway, 
at the comer of Verletenbergh, various articles of 
furniture, with two trunks of parchments and 
many bundles of papers in about 40 small deal 
bound boxes, numbered in the front. He is in- 
formed that they were moved out of town in 
iVugust, 1776, but can't discover who at present 
has the custody of them. There were also taken 
away Dr. Mitchell's large map of North America, 
Mr. Ratse's map of the city, and a manuscript 
map of the colony of New York; among the 
papers there are some of great consequence to 
the estates of many persons in town and coun- 
try. Satisfactory information, especially con- 
cerning the parchments and papers, will be grate- 
fully received and rewarded. 

William Smith." 

Jones' History of New York asserts that 
"upon this occasion," viz.: the arrival of Gen- 
eral Washington in the city of New York, 13 
April, 1776. "William Smith, Esq., accommo- 



dated General Washington with his house in 
town, his brother Tom did the same with his to 
General Gates, and retired to Haverstraw, about 
30 miles from New York, upon the banks of the 
Hudson, where each had a farm and country 
seat." 

In this connection it is needless to say more 
than that Mr. Smith had left New York on the 
29th March, two weeks before the arrival of 
General Washington. The residence and head- 
quarters of the Commander-in-chief were estab- 
lished at the Mortier house, Richmond Hill; the 
town headquarters, which are frequently referred 
to in general orders, etc. , were at the comer of Ex- 
change Place and Broadway, and were, it is be- 
lieved, at the house of Mr. Smith, which seems 
to have been taken possesssion of as a deserted 
mansion. 

* List of Persons Banished by the Commission- 
ers for detecting and defeating Conspiracies, &c., 
within this State, in pursuance of an Act, etc., 
entitled : " An Act more effectually to prevent 
the mischiefs arising from the Influence and Ex- 
ample of persons of Equivocal and suspected 
Characters within this State : " — 
William Smith, Esq., one of the members of the 

late Council of the King of Great Britain 

for this State. 
Cadwallader Colden, Esq., of Ulster County. 
Roeliff I. Ettinge, do do 

James Smith, Esq., of Dutchess County. 
Cornelius Luyster, Esq., do do 

Dirck van Vliet, do do 

Samuel Fowler, of Ulster County. 
Andrew Graham do do 

I. Michael Thorn, do do 

Solomon Ettinge, do do 

James Peters, of Orange County, 
John Terrill, of Dutchess County. 
William Lupton, of Ulster County. 
Samuel Frame, of Ulster County, confined for 

exchange, afterward permitted to return to 

his place of abode. 
James Scott, of Dutchess County. 
Theophilus Nelson, do do 
Richbell Williams, of Dutchess County, is since 

returned and pardoned. 
Lodwick Strydt, of Dutchess County. 
Samuel Mabbit, do do 



434 



WILLIAM SMITH— THE HISTORIAN 



Walter Dubois, of Ulster County. 

Agrippa Martin, of Dutchess County. 

Myndert \'ielie do do 

Israel Wood, of Orange County. 

Benjamin Booth, do do - , 

John Booth, do do 

Zebulon Wallbridge, of Dutchess County. 

Richard Harrison, Esq., late of the City of New 

York. 
Joseph Teed, of Dutchess County. 
William Brady, do do 

Joseph Mabbit, do do 

Benjamin Lapham, do do 

Richard Bartlett, of Ulster County. 
Joost Garrison, do do 

Samuel Washburn, do do 
Samuel Dickinson, ^o do 

Samuel Peters, do do 

Lewis McDonald, of Westchester County. 
Stephen Baxter, do do 

John Green, do do 

James Banks, do do 

Abraham Underhill, do do 

Benjamin Close, do do 

Benjamin Thip, do do 

Richard Currie, do do 

Gabriel Purdy, do do 

Endorsed : 

List of Banished Persons. 

* {Front the Neiv York Journaly yune 29, 1778. Printed 
at Poughkeepsie^ by John Holt.) 

An Easy Plan to Reduce the Rebellious 
Colonies. 

By Captain Jolly, arrived at Liverpool, the 
following letter was received, dated New York, 
Jan. ID, 1778 : 
My Lord: 

My duty to the King and the melancholy state 
of his affairs on this Continent command me to 
deal plainly and truly with your lordship. The 
overthrow and capture of Gen. Burgoyne and all 
his army has inspired the base rebels of this coun- 
try to such a degree of insolence that they are de- 
termined to attack Gen. Howe in Philadelphia. 
In short, my lord, if France enter into treaty 
•with the rebels, I am afraid America will be for- 
ever lost to Great Britain ; to prevent which per- 
mit me, my lord, to say that I think the only 
means are to cede to France forever : 



I. — All Canada, in the state she possessed it 
before the late war. 

2. — To give up Cape Breton and St. John, with 
all their dependencies. 

3. — To cede to them Nova Scotia. 

4. — A right to fish on the Banks of Newfound- 
land as possessed by them before the late treaty 
of Fontainebleau. 

In consideration of those cessions, France on 
her part, 

I. — To cease all connection, correspondence 
and commerce with the rebel colonies. 

2. — To call home all her subjects that are now 
in the actual service of the rebels, and prevent 
them in future. 

3. — To assist Great Britain with a corps of 
12,000 auxilliary troops, to be employed in North 
America in the service of Great Britain with the 
British army, in order to reduce the rebels to 
obedience. 

The honor I have of being one of His Majesty's 
Council, as well as duty and gratitude, have all 
called for me to g;ive you the best advice for His 
Majesty's service in my power in this dreadful 
situation of the King's affairs here, which are 
such as require some cessions to be made. 

I have the honor to be, my lord, 

Your lordship's most obedient. 

Humble servant, 

William Smith. 

The writer acknowledges the kindness of Mr. 
William Kelby, of the New York Historical So- 
ciety, in calling his attention to this and to other 
newspaper paragraphs connected with his sub- 
ject : 

{From the New York Journal^ July 20, 1778.) 

Poughkeepsie, July 20, 1778. 
Mr. Loudon :* 

Seeing in your last paper a letter from Mr. 
William Smith, desiring your aid in discovering 
where a letter under his signature, inserted in one 
of my late papers was copied, I immediately con- 
cluded to enable you to gratify his curiosity to 
the utmost and accordingly wrote a full account, 
which I intended to publish in my paper of to- 
day, but the paper was so filled up that there 
was not room to insert the piece, which I am, 
therefore, obliged to defer till next week, when 



WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 



435 



you may assure Mr. Smith he shall be fully 
satisfied. I am, etc., j^^^ jj^^t. 

* Samuel Loudon was the printer of the A>w Vori- 
Packet, at Fishkill. 

(From the New York Journal, July 27, 1778.) 

PouGHKEEPSiE, July 17, 1778. 
Mr. Loudon: 

In your paper of yesterday, I observed the 
following letter, viz. : 

Livingston's Manor, July 2, 1778. 
Mr. Loudon : 

I shall be much obliged to you for your aid in 
discovering whether the malicious forgeries in 
Holt's paper of the 29th of June, purporting 
to be a letter from me to some noblemen on 
the other side of the water, and dated at " New 
York, the loth of January, 1778," is wholly or 
in part taken from any other and what paper. 

To all who know me, and that I have not 
been out of this neighborhood since the 7th of 
June, 1777, I need not make the declaration 
(which I can with truth) that I have not written 
a line to any person in Great Britain ; nor even 
in New York, for thirteen months past, except 
by flags, and open for inspection ; and therefore, 
an exculpatory oath would scarce be justifiable 
to defeat a calumny so artfully contrived, as 
to carry with it a detection of its own falsehoods. 

In condescension, however, to the weak, and 
for the satisfaction of others at a remote dis- 
tance, who might be uninformed of my situation, 
I beg you to publish this letter in your next 
paper. This is the second attempt within two 
years, to palm a frantic, nonsensical letter upon 
the public, as mine, and probably as both were 
dated at a place where I then was not, they are 
the work of the same hand. The assassin, if not 
a worse character, must at least be one of those 
fanatics, common in turbulent times, who, confi- 
dent that they are right in their aims, give them- 
selves no concern about the means, regardless of 
the divine injunction prohibiting evil and im- 
moral acts, though conducive to the most lauda- 
ble and excellent ends. 

I am your most obedient servant, 

William Smith. 
This letter I publish at large, not only be- 
cause I intend to make some remarks upon it, 



but also for the sake of justice to Mr. Smith, 
that his vindication may appear in the same paper 
where the piece that gave occasion to it was in- 
serted, and which he calls a malicious forgery. 
In the first paragraph of his letter, Mr. Smith 
seems to be extremely solicitous to find out 
" whether it was wholly or in part, taken from 
any other and what paper." It would have been 
a more direct way for Mr. Smith to obtain a sat- 
isfactory answer to his inquiry, if instead of 
his writing to you, who had no concern in the sub- 
ject of it, he had directed his letter to me, who 
live at a much less distance from him, and could 
have given him more certain and satisfactory in- 
formation. But since he has chosen this round- 
about way to do it, by writing to you to in- 
quire of me (unless it had happened, that you 
should have been able to inform him of your 
own knowledge, without such inquiry, in which 
case the publication in your paper would have 
been unnecessary), I shall follow his method, 
and instead of answering him myself, enable you 
to answer him. However, as I imagine his man- 
ner of proceeding in this affair has excited the 
curiosity of many other of your readers, as well 
as myself, and may have given occasion for some 
conjectures to my disadvantage, especially as he 
has in his letter mentioned and treated me in a 
manner somewhat disrespectful, I think it nec- 
essary to declare my conjectures as to the rea- 
sons of his conduct. 

If he had written immediately to me, it would 
not have given room to publish an insinuation, 
that I had refused to give him the satisfaction he 
solicits you to procure him ; nor that my refusal 
might arise from my privity to the forgery and 
malicious design of the writer. And as I can 
think of no other reason, I am of opinion that 
Mr. Smith has taken this indirect way of inquiry, 
merely to introduce these insinuations, give them 
the appearance of realities, and avail himself of 
the opinions they might suggest in his favor. 

I think as far as Mr. Smith's letter concerns 
me, I have given the true and natural meaning 
of it, as it will be understood by readers in gen- 
eral; and that, by every onewhogives full credit 
to it, in the sense in which he intended it should 
be understood, I shall appear exactly in such a 
light as I have represented ; and if so that he has 



436 



WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 



not done me justice must appear by my publish- 
ing his vindication, that he may receive all the 
benefit it can afford him; and by the account I 
shall now give you, for his use, of the piece pub- 
lished in my paper of 2gth June, which he 
complains of as a malicious forgery. The ac- 
count is as follows, viz. : 

On the lOth of June I set out from Poughkeepsie 
on a journey to Boston ; on my way, at New 
Haven, about the 22d of June, I first saw the piece 
in question, published in an Eastern paper. I also 
saw it at several other places on my journey, and 
at Boston in the papers printed there, particu- 
larly in a paper of the i8th of June, published by 
Mr. John Gill. From this paper it was my peo- 
ple took the copy published in my paper of the 
29th. And this Boston paper sets forth, that on 
board a prize brig of 14 guns, bound from Scot- 
land to New York, but taken and carried into 
Boston by Capt. Croly, were found Scotch news- 
papers to the nth of April, from one of which, 
under the London head, March 20th, the said 
piece signed William Smith was taken. But I 
have written to Mr. Gill desiring him to inform 
me exactly where it was taken and the date of 
the paper, which, as soon as I know, I shall en- 
deavor through you to communicate to Mr. 
Smith. 

I gave no orders for inserting the piece in my 
paper, nor knew anything of its being there till 
I saw it. However, I was far from being dis- 
pleased that my people, though without my order, 
had inserted it, since it gave Mr. Smith an op- 
portunity to vindicate himself if innocent, and 
his country to know him, if guilty. 

Mr. Smith knows whether he has reason to be- 
lieve that any person on the other side the Atlan- 
tic (where, it is hardly to be doubted, that both 
this and the former letter with his name sub- 
scribed, were originally published) is so rancor- 
ously disposed towards him ; and of so villainous 
a character as, without any apparent advantage 
to himself maliciously to forge these letters in his 
name merely to ruin his character and deprive 
him of the confidence and esteem of his country. 
The public will judge of the probability of this 
according to the e\'idence Mr. Smith shall pro- 
duce. Meanwhile, it is thought surprising that 
though he anxiously labors to make it appear that 



he is not the author of the letters published in his 
name, he has never once clearly and positively 
denied that he is. At least, readers in general 
think so. I shall at present confine myself to the 
last, wherein he says — ''he need not declare — 
though he can with truth — that he has not written 
a line to any person in Great Britain, or even in 
New York, for thirteen months past, except by 
flags, and open to inspection." But he has not 
denied that he has written to a person somewhere 
else who might have conveyed hii letter to the 
person it was intended for. Nor is it certain that 
some of these flags were not vehicles of a traitorous 
correspondence with the enemy ; or, that though 
his letters might be left open to inspection, he 
might not be assured they would not be inspected, 
or would be inspected only by such as would ap- 
prove and deliver them. He affects to think 
''An exculpatory oath unnecessary, for that the 
calumny is so contrived as to defeat itself and 
carry with it a detection of its own falsehood. " 
But in this last he may be assured he deceives 
himself ; for, even if the letter in his name is a 
forgery, it is not thought so by most that see it, 
more especially by those that have seen his excul- 
patory letter. Nor is it probable an oath to the 
same purpose would have a better effect. 

Less efforts than these would be sufficient to 
defeat a calumny against a man who had acted 
with uniformity as a friend to the rights and lib- 
erty of America ; but no arguments or oaths will 
probably be effectual to restore to the love and 
confidence of his country a man who would do 
nothing to assist it in time of danger, nor give it 
any satisfactory assurances that he would not 
join its enemies the moment he could do it with 
safety to his person and property. The subject 
naturally led me to these reflections which in no 
respect arose from enmity to Mr. Smith, whom 
I always respected and esteemed, except so far 
as I have thought his public conduct blameab'e ; 
nor in what I now write of him have I more de- 
clared my own sentiments than the public opinion. 
I am yours, etc., 

John Holi. 

Notwithstanding Mr. Holt's intimation that 
the subject was to be continued in the columns of 
the New York youmal, a search has failed to 
reveal any other reference to the matter. It is 



WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 



437 



not impossible but that Mr. Smith replied to Mr. 
Holt's extraordinary article by a letter to Loudon's 
New York Packet, printed at Fishkill, and that 
this reply was of so convincing and thorough a 
character that Mr. Holt concluded not to reprint 
or to notice it. Unfortunately — and little to the 
credit of the public libraries of New York — no 
complete set of the Neiv York Packet exists 
among them, and the copy owned by the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society at Worcester is found to 
contain but about one-half of the issues of the 
paper for the last half of 1778 ; in these nothing 
appears relative to the Smith-Holt matter. Per- 
haps some one of the owners of the separate 
numbers of the New York Packet scattered 
throughout the country may possess and be in- 
duced by these notes to reprint the sequel to the 
correspondence, which is certainly not complete 
with what is here given. 

' The order of the Provincial Congress is especi- 
ally complimentary to Mr. Smith. It directs that 
the letters received for him ' 'which were sent open, 
but enclosed together, be enclosed, sealed up and 
certified by the President to have been sealed up 
in the Congress without having been perused," 
and be so delivered to him. {Journals Provincial 
Congress, Vol. /, /. 748.) 

^ To the Honorable , the Representatives of the State 
of New York, in Senate and Assembly con- 
vened : 

The petition of Andrew Bostwick and William 
S. Livingston, of the City of New York, gentle- 
men. 

Humbly sheweth : — That your petitioners and 
their connections are interested in a very consid- 
erable real estate, of which William Smith, Esq., 
deceased, died seized ; that the said estate cannot 
be settled and your petitioners receive their just 
due, owing in a great degree to the absence of 
William Smith, Esq., one of the executors, who, 
by a law of this State, passed the 30th day of 
June, 1778, is prohibited from returning to or be- 
coming a resident of this State. That independ- 
ent of the personal interests of your petitioners, 
they do assure this Honorable House that there 
is in the care and possession of said William 
Smith property and papers which he holds in 
trust, or in common with others, of great value 
to many citizens of this State, which can only be 



accounted for by the said William Smith in per- 
son. That, notwithstanding your petitioners are 
fully confident that it is not the interest of the 
said William Smith to again become a citizen of 
this State, yet they have the fullest assurance that 
he will, on permission for that purpose being first 
obtained, return to this State for the settlement 
of the affairs of those citizens over which he has 
either had charge or been interested in. 

Your petitioners, therefore, pray that his name 
be mserted in the Act granting permission for 
certain proscribed persons again to return to the 
State as in duty bound. 

They will ever pray, etc. , 

And'w Bostwick. 
William S. Livingston. 

Endorsed : A petition of Andrew Bostwick 
and Wm. S. Livingston, that William Smith, 
Esq., may be permitted to return into this State, 
In Assembly, Feb. 18, 1790, read and committed 
to a Committee of the whole House on the bill 
to permit persons therein named to return into 
this State. 

No. 144. 

Assembly Journal, p. 42. Thursday, 10 o'clock 
A. M., Feb. 18, 1790. — A petition of And'w Bost- 
wick and William S. Livingston praying permis- 
sion, etc. (like the endorsement). 

Assembly fournal, p. 94. Thursday, g o'clock 
A. M., March 25, 179O. ***** ^j^. 
Hitchcock, from the Committee of the whole 
House on the bill entitled : ' ' An act to allow 
the persons therein named, etc.," reported that 
after the Committee had inserted the names of 
sundry persons therein the enacting clause was 
again read for the approbation of the Committee, 
as follows, viz. : 

" Be it enacted by the people of the State of 
New York, etc. : That James Jauncey, Abr. C. 
Cuyler, William Smith, William Axtell, Thoma& 
Jones, Richard Floyd and Henry Lloyd, the 
elder, severally be and they are hereby permitted 
to return to and remain within this State un- 
molested, any law to the contrary notwithstand- 
ing. " 

Agreed to by a vote of 32 yeas against 18 noes 
and Ordered, that the bill be engrossed. 

Senate Journal, p. 45. Friday, 5 o'clock p. M., 
March 26, 1790. — A message from the Honor- 



43' 



WILLIAM SMITH— THE HISTORIAN 



able, the Assembly, by Mr. Van Cortlandt and 
Mr. Marvin was received, with the following two 
bills for concurrence, viz., the bill entitled " An 
act to allow the persons therein named, etc., 
etc.," which were read a first time and ordered a 
second reading. 

Ibidem. Saturday morning, March 27, 1790. 
— The bill entitled " An act to allow the persons, 
etc.," was read a second time and committed to 
a Committee of the Whole. 

Ibidem, page 49. Tuesday, March 30, rygo. — 
Mr. Williams, from the Committee of the Whole, 
to whom was referred a bill entitled " An act to 
allow the persons, etc.," reported that the Com- 
mittee had gone through the bill, made amend- 
ments thereto and agreed to the same. The re- 
port was read and the amendments agreed. 
Thereupon, " Resolved, that the bill as amended 
do pass." 

* Anno, 1730, the first of November, being 
Sunday, at two o'clock in the morning, is our 
daughter. Jennet, bom, and on the following 
Sunday held in baptism by Mistress Cornelia 
Schuyler, and received in holy baptism by Domine 
Walter DuBois. Cousin John Schuyler, junior, 
godfather. Mother Magarieta Livingston, god- 
mother. May the Lord bless her and raise her 
in joy to salvation. (Family bible of James Liv- 
ingston, translated from the Dutch). 

•• The baptismal registry of the First Presby- 
terian Church of New York, gives the date of 
birth of eight and the date of baptism of nine out 
of the ten children of Chief Justice and Jennet 
Smith. These compared with a copy of the 
family bible of the Chief Justice agree, except 
in one trifling difference, as noted in the text. 



DESCENDANTS OF WILLIAM SMITH 
I. Jennet Smith, bom Sunday, 25th November, 
1753 ; died in England, 8th August, 1828. Mar- 
ried in New York, 21st October, 1771, Lieutenant, 
aftervvards General John Plenderleath, of Glen, 
County of Peebles, Scotland, a gentleman of 
large estate.* She survived her husband, who 
left four sons and two daughters. Three of the 
sons were distinguished in the British army ; the 
fourth, a surgeon, served and lost his life in the 



Peninsula campaign, under the Duke of Welling- 
ton, and is honored with a monument to his 
memory in Westminster Abbey. Her elder chil- 
dren were bom in New York. 

* The following notice afterward appeared in the New 
York Gazette, of November 4, 1771 : " The 21st of Octo., 
ber, at night, was married Lieutenant John Plenderleith, 
of the Royal Artillery, to Miss Jennet Smith, daughter of 
the Hon. William Smith, Esq. A young lady endowed 
with all the accomplishments requisite to render the mar- 
riage state happy." 

II. Mary Smith, bom 27th May, 1755 ; bap- 
tized 15th June following, by the Rev. Aaron 
Burr, President of the College of New Jersey ; 
died 13th June, 1759. 

III. Elizabeth Smith, bom 26th January, 
1757 ; liied unmarried, at her father's country 
seat, Haverstraw, on the North River, I2th Sep- 
tember, 1776, in the twentieth year of her age. 
The distress occasioned by the divisions among 
her family and friends engaged in opposite sides 
in civil strife, is said to have caused her death. 

IV. Mary Smith, bom 28th December, 1759 ; 
married Lieutenant-General William Doyle, of 
Waterford, Ireland, and left two sons and one 
daughter. 

V. Margaret Susanna Smith, bom 25th 
October, 1761 (baptismal registry gives the date 
of birth as 2ist October, 1761) ; died 22d August 

1765. 

VI. William Livingston Smith, bom 26th 
September, 1763 ; died 28th August, 1764. 

VII. Margaret Smith, bom 26th September, 
1765 ; died 31st August, 1766. 

VIII. Hon. William Smith, the only son 
who survived infancy, bora 7th February, 1769, 
of whom presently.* 

IX. Livingston Smith, bom 8th of June, 
1770; died i6th September, 1770. 

X. Henrietta or Harriet Smith, bom in 
the city of New York, 6th February, 1776; 
died at Quebec, Canada, 26th May, 1849 ; mar- 
ried 24th of September. 1796, Jonathan Sewell, 
Chief Justice of Lower Canada. Chief Justice 
Sewell was bom 6th June, 1766, and died at 
Quebec, 12th November, 1839; was a member 
and for many years was President of the Execu- 
tive Council and also Speaker of the Legislative 
Council and LL. D., Harvard. Chief Justice and 
Harriet Sewell had sixteen children. 



WILLIAM SMITH — THE HISTORIAN 



439 



I. Henrietta, born i8th July, 1797 ; died ist Au- 
gust, 1797. 

William, born 28th May, 1798; died ist June 
1866 ; sheriff of Quebec. 

Edmond, born 3d September, 1800, in Holy Or- 
ders. 

Robert, born 30th December, 1803; died 1834 ; 
barrister. 

Maria, born 26th January, 1804; died at Quebec 
2d April, 1881 ; married Major Temple, 15th 
Regiment, and left issue. 

Henry, bom 21st October, 1806 ; in Holy Orders. 

Henrietta, born 14th October, 1808; died 17th 
November, 1847. 

James, bom 31st August, 1810. Physician. 

Montague, bom 24th August, 1812 ; died 28th 

February, 1859. 
Francis, born 5th January, 1816. 

Algernon, bom 31st August, 1817; died loth 

1875 ; Colonel 15th Regiment. 
Eliza, born 21st July, 1819; died 1875 ; married 
John Ross of Quebec and left issue. 

Charlotte, born 8th July, 1814; died 31st De- 
cember, 1826. 

XIV. A girl, stillborn. 

XV. & XVI. Twins, a boy and girl; who died in infancy. 

* The Hon. William Smith, the only son of 
Chief Justice and Suoanna Smith, who survived 
infancy, was bom in the city of New York, 7th 
February, 1769, and died at Quebec, Canada, on 
the 17th of December, 1847. At the close of 
the Revolution he sailed with his father for Eng- 
land and was sent to continue his studies com- 
menced in New York, to a Grammar school at 
Kensington. When his father was appointed 
Chief Justice of Canada, young Smith accom- 
panied him to that province, arriving at Quebec, 



II. 



III. 



IV. 



V. 



VI. 
VII. 

VIII. 
IX. 

X. 

XI. 

XII. 
XIII. 



23d October, 1786. He was appointed Clerk of 
the Provincial Parliament and presently made 
a Master in Chancery. In 1814, he was advanced 
by Earl Bathurst to a seat in the Executive 
Council. William Smith, also, served as Lieu- 
tenant Colonel of the Third Battalion of the 
Quebec militia. He was the author of Smith's 
History of the Province of Canada, from its first 
discovery to the year 1791, two volumes, Que- 
bec, 181 5. The work, which is now rare and 
much sought after by book collectors, is in- 
correctly attributed by the Doc. Col. His- 
tory of the State of New York, Vol. VIII, 
p. 62, to Chief Justice Smith, the father of the 
author. 

William Smith married Susan, who died at 
Quebec, 26th January, 1850, daughter of Admi- 
ral Charles Webber, of the county of Hamp- 
shire, England, by whom he left five children. 

I. William Boudenell Smith, late Colonel of the 
iSth Regiment; resides in England. Colonel Smith 
married Caroline, daughter of Lieut. Colonel 
Grierson and sister of Major General Grierson. 
and has an only child, married to Lieut. Colonel 
Warren, of the 78th Highlanders, of the Warrens 
of Warren Court, Baronets, and has issue. 
II. Charles Webber Smith, of London; married 
Anna Chelworth and died in 1879 without issue. 

III. Emily Ann Smith, married the Rev. George, son of 

General Mackie, late Governor St. Lucia, and left 
issue. 

IV. Louisa Janet Smith, married her cousin Robert 

Sewell, son of the Chief Justice, and left issue. 
V. Caroline Susanna Smith, married Henry, son of 
Andrew Stewart, of Quebec, and left issue. 



J 



i 



ERRATA 

April Number: 

The engraved etching of Judge Smith \s irom ^. life size portrait oi 
the judge, painted by Wollaston, and not from a miniature. 

Page 271, line i. Strike out the word England and read Connecticut. 

Page 282, line 8, second column. Strike out the single quotation 
mark. 
June Number: 

Page 430, line 14. Strike out the words son-in-law. Dr. Mallet mar- 
ried Mary Livingston, a niece of Mrs. Smith ; see page 276. 

Page 430, line 15. Strike out the word sojt and read brother-in-law ; 
see page 278. 

Page 439, line 28. Strike out the word Susannah, and read Jennet. 

ADDENDA 

Mrs. Elizabeth Smith, to whom allusion is made on p. 271, the widow 
of Colonel Elisha Williams, of Connecticut, and second wife to Hon. 
Judge William Srnith, whom she survived, died 13th June, 1776, at the 
house of Sheriff Williams, Westerfield, Conn. See genealogical notes, 
etc., of the first families of Connecticut and Massachusetts, by Nathaniel 
Goodwin, and the Williams Genealogy, 1847. 

MATURIN L. DELAFIELD 

FiELDSTON, June, 1 88 1 



(p^ 



^Avt